UEPC position paper on Social Housing Report
In advance of the EMPL Committee vote on the Social Housing Report by Ms Karima Delli, UEPC has sent its position paper to Rapporteur and Shadow Rapporteurs.
Having reviewed the latest compromise amendments in detail, we take the view that these remain very socialist in their tone overall, and fail to strike an appropriate balance between the public and private sector in relation to housing. We are very concerned that if the European Commission would follow up on the recommendations in the report, this would lead to a distortion of the level playing field. Our concerns fall into four main areas:
State aid rules. We consider that a number of compromise amendments could contravene State aid rules, and we had recommended that a reference to the applicability of State aid rules should be introduced in a number of cases (Compromises F, I, L, X), but this has not been followed;
EU competence. We disagree with a number of compromise amendments on the basis that the substance may go beyond the EU’s competence (Compromises H ,I, W);
Strengthening of the non-profit making housing sector. We disagree with the suggestion that Member States and relevant bodies should be encouraged to strengthen the non-profit making housing sector in national reform programmes and strategic priorities, on the basis that this may distort competition (Compromise N);
VAT rates. We consider that the reference to VAT should be to ‘affordable’ and not to ‘social’ housing, in line with a recent EESC report (Compromise S).