This glossary contains key terms from the whole text book. 

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Broadly defined in the European Typology of Homelessness and Housing Exclusion (ETHOS) by four categories, including rooflessness, houselessness, insecure housing and inadequate housing.


The act of taking over an abandoned building with the intention of turning it into a home.

Hotspot approach

EU approach to cope with increasing migratory pressure faced by frontline countries at the EU borders, setting up of operational support to these countries to speed up the procedures of migrants’ identification and fingerprinting and thus asylum claims.

Hotspot centres

Facilities for the first reception and identification of refugees and asylum seekers at southern European shores, in Italy and Greece; aimed at short-term stays of no longer than 48 hours, although the actual period is often longer.


Staying in accommodation for the homeless, in women’s shelters, in accommodation for immigrants or due to be released from institutions (e.g., for youngsters without parents, correctional institutions).

Housing career

The sequence of dwellings that a household occupies during its history.

Housing cost overburden rate

The percentage of the population living in households where the total housing costs ('net' of housing allowances) represent more than 40% of disposable income ('net' of housing allowances).

Housing First Approach

Housing model based on the principle that the first support measure for the homeless should be the unconditional provision of housing. Housing is not the goal or end point, rather, it is the first step on the way back to society. This distinguishes Housing First from any programmes applying selection criteria based on personal characteristics or circumstances or making support conditional on commitments and discipline.

Housing ladder

metaphor for dwelling hierarchy. At the bottom of this ladder are accessible dwellings of relatively poor quality, while less accessible dwellings of better quality can be found on the higher rungs of the housing ladder.

Housing Precariat

Those who can no longer afford their houses.

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