Precarious Housing in Europe – pushing for innovation in research and education


In the end of October, the Open Society Institute – Sofia has launched a new partnership initiative with representatives of academic and research institutions from seven EU member states.

PusH – Precarious Housing in Europe, funded under the Erasmus + Program, aims to collect and discuss evidence on this growing European-wide phenomenon and make it available for teaching and dissemination in our partner institutions and in wider academic and research communities and among policy makers. The lack of decent, affordable housing and the occurrence of informal, illegal, or unsafe housing across all EU member states poses a threat to social inclusion, and hinders the mobility of EU citizens and the integration of third-country nationals. However, so far the issue has not been systematically taken up in curricula in HEIs across Europe. PusH addresses this gap by uniting seven partners from both older and younger EU member states. The academic institutions are not only enthusiastically committed to higher education and research. They also actively engage with societal needs, promote the co-creation of knowledge across disciplines, and bridge the research-practice divide. The consortium comprises HEIs involved in undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate education (Durham, Utrecht, Venice and Leuphana), the Danube-Krems University as a provider of continuing education for working professionals, as well as two partners from Bulgaria and Hungary as those countries where informal and precarious housing is a long-standing phenomenon. The Centre for Economic and Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (CERS HAS) in Budapest and the Open Society Institute in Sofia as a non-governmental, non-for-profit organization, have an established reputation for providing scientific evidence and policy advice on precarious housing and will facilitate the exchange, flow, and co-creation of knowledge on precarious housing within the PusH consortium and beyond.

PusH project will result in four textbook chapters on cross-cutting issues around precarious housing that will be used for teaching within the partner institutions and will be published open access for both students and teachers beyond this project. Each chapter will be made available as a corresponding e-learning module to reach a wider audience of students, lecturers and multipliers. All publications are going to be presented at separate multiplier events, in order to discuss and engage with associated partners such as local authorities, policy-makers, CBOs and NGOs. Moreover, PusH is going to organise two summer schools for students and lecturers from partner institutions. Apart from exploring the reasons for, and challenges of, precarious housing more generally, the first summer school in Bulgaria is going to allow students and lecturers to get first-hand impressions of informal housing of the Roma community, while the second summer school in Italy will draw from our partner’s experience and networks in the field of refugee migration and integration, both encouraging students and lecturers to engage with local practitioners.

The PusH Strategic Partnership aims therefore at bring together a wealth of international expertise on precarious housing, migration, and urban change in Europe, along with partner third sector organisations, to co-create accessible and engaging resources for students and practitioners across Europe and to promote widespread understanding of precarious housing as an urgent political issue of our time.


The creation of these resources has been(partially) funded by the ERASMUS+ grant program of the European Union under grant no. 2019-1-DE01-KA203-004986.

Neither the European Commission nor the project’s national funding agency DAAD are responsible for the content or liable for any losses or damage resulting of the use of these resources.