Responsibility for tackling homelessness is increasingly transferred to local authorities. In the past, there were no or few statutory obligations for public authorities to address the problem of homelessness. As a consequence, NGOs were generally left to find creative solutions to tackle homelessness and have consequently gathered a fair amount of expertise in this area (as reflected in FEANTSA). During the last decade(s), and for many countries during the last few years, local authorities have been given a statutory duty – or at least a moral obligation – to address homelessness. Local authorities are therefore progressively also becoming frontrunners in finding innovative measures to tackle homelessness. The situation for people experiencing homelessness and for actors involved in the fight against homelessness will be different from city to city. It is therefore best to use a bottom-up approach (as opposed to top-down) to address specific, local problems and find local, relevant solutions which work in the context of each individual city.
Cities across Europe are developing local homeless strategies to compliment their local welfare systems. See the Policy Bank for more information about these.