Luxembourg's Ministry of Housing recently presented statistics, taken from the Housing Observatory, about people who are eligible for affordable rental housing in the Grand Duchy.
The ministry noted that the current supply of affordable rental housing is largely insufficient to meet growing demand, which is why it put in place the national affordable housing strategy.
In order to have a more precise idea of housing needs, particularly in terms of typology, the ministry deemed it essential to analyse the socio-demographic characteristics of candidate tenants on the waiting lists of the various social housing landlords. However, the ministry added that a complete and systematic view of these needs will only be possible with the national register of affordable housing, whose implementation is provided for by Bill 7937. This tool is also expected to make it possible to carry out studies over time and thus monitor changing needs.
In 2020, the Housing Observatory carried out an analysis of the composition of the waiting list to access housing from the Housing Fund. With more than 3,800 candidate tenants registered at the time and more than 5,500 candidate tenants in March 2023, this list constitutes a representative sample to illustrate the need to extend the supply of affordable housing in Luxembourg. This analysis was recently updated and the detailed data is available on the website of the Ministry of Housing.
The study showed that the number of applicants for affordable rental housing from the Housing Fund increased by 43.1% between January 2021 and March 2023. According to the ministry, this can be viewed as a sign that the exclusion of the most precarious households from the private market is worsening, due to the increase in prices and rents, and that the conditions for granting housing loans have become less favourable.
Three types of households were found to represent almost three-quarters of potential tenants: single people (35.1%), single-parent families (22.7%) and large families (16.8%).
According to the ministry, the need to obtain decent housing was also illustrated by the following: 40% of would-be tenants spend more than 30% of their net disposable income on their current home, 44.5% of prospective tenants live in unsuitable housing and 37.6% rent accommodation on a fixed-term contract from an ASBL (note that the same household can combine several of these elements). Moreover, the deterioration in access to housing appeared to be gradually leading to the abandonment of residential preferences: the share of prospective tenants with no preference in relation to the location of possible housing with the Housing Fund fell from 28% in 2021 to 37% in 2023.
Large families were found to face more difficulties in finding affordable rental accommodation suited to their size and tend to stay longer on the waiting list.
The ministry stressed the importance of deepening these analyses in future and including an analysis of the dynamic evolution of the waiting list by comparing the characteristics of new registrations, households assigned a dwelling and households who stay longer on the waiting list.