The study will gather data from across the EU and identify both the pan-European factors that lead to the loss of a home and measures to counter homelessness
Dr Padraic Kenna of the School of Law, NUI Galway will lead a major €1m EU-funded research project on evictions across the 28 European Union (EU) Member States. The research will investigate the national legal frameworks and extent of evictions across Europe.
The research will identify effective early intervention and preventative measures and create a profile of evicted households, risk factors and risk groups. Patterns of evictions across all EU Member States will be analysed in the context of diverse structural factors including the economic crisis, welfare systems and legal practices and protections.
The project, which will take two years, was awarded following a competitive tendering process by the European Commission. It will examine evictions from mortgaged, rental and other properties, with a focus on the right to housing within the context of national and EU law all areas in which Dr Kenna is a leading European expert.
NUI Galway will lead a consortium of University and housing research agencies in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Spain. Dr Kenna, as Research Director/Principal Investigator will lead the network of national experts on housing law and policy across all EU Member States. The researchers will collate national and local data, as well as legal materials for the project’s report to the European Commission.
Dr Kenna said, “In Ireland we have a deeply historical sentiment on evictions. Michael Davitt wrote that an eviction was the expression of the power of profit and of property over the right of a family. Today, an eviction represents the collision of basic human rights with property rights, and while the European Union is committed to the protection of human rights, the balance of these interests represents the contemporary fault line between market forces and people’s right to housing.”
Measures to prevent homelessness within all EU Member States remain a priority for the European Commission. This project will collate and evaluate the most cost-effective measures which can be advanced to mitigate evictions across the EU. The project team will prepare reports and recommendations for the European Commission on best practice models, to monitor, alleviate and prevent evictions, within the framework of national and EU law and policy.
Welcoming the announcement of this award, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said “This is a highly prestigious and worthwhile project led by my colleague, Dr Padraic Kenna. It is a concrete recognition of his standing as a major player in the field of housing law, rights and policy in Europe; and a great boost to his tireless and impactful work in this area at national and international level.”