BRUSSELS, 13 January 2022 – Build Europe, the leading trade association representing European developers and housebuilders, publishes today a report designed to help policymakers improve the use of land while protecting European citizens from rising housing costs.

“No net land take by 2050 – Solving the unsolvable” includes 10 solutions from developers and homebuilders representing more than 60% of Europe’s homebuilding capacity. Built on input from experts and actors from the housebuilding sector, the report identifies innovative ways to improve land use in the framework of the No Net Land Take by 2050 initiative and addresses the growing pressure facing EU citizens struggling to access decent housing at affordable prices.

Last year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) sounded the alarm, noting that “households increasingly face challenges to pay for high housing costs […] and are dedicating a larger share of their budget to housing costs than they used to”. Build Europe’s report demonstrates that a reduction in land availability will exacerbate this crisis, in a time when – following the Covid19 crisis – housing has become essential for the private and professional lives of all European families. The authors call on policymakers at the EU and national level to put forward crucial measures, such as increasing the reversibility of buildings, financing the reconversion of wasteland, and promoting tradable land planning permits.

Marc Pigeon, President of Build Europe, said: “Due to the policies undertaken, the rise in housing prices is inevitable, but we must do everything we can to try to control it. Therefore, we are proposing solutions to ensure that environmental policies, and in particular those relating to limit land use, are not implemented at the expense of the EU citizens”.

Filiep Loosveldt, Managing Director of Build Europe, added: “The EU’s objective of land take reduction will cause a rapid increase in housing prices. For this reason, we came up with solutions that will help European citizens overburdened by housing prices. Our home is the place where we live and work, and where our children study. If we want to build a prosperous future for our families, we need to make sure that housing is decent and affordable for everyone”.