This article explores the different meanings of the right to housing in Europe in public and private relations with housing providers. In light of the fundamental right to housing’s meaning in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union, we offer a new reading of the CJEU judgments that have hitherto been heralded as extending the social dimension of EU (private) law. We submit that the emphasis on economic and procedural rights risks further ‘economisation’ of housing relations in Europe. While the possibilities to grant direct horizontal effect to the right to housing in EU law currently offer limited potential to counter this trend, private law provides part of the framework for a further balancing of social and economic elements in housing cases. Accordingly, we call for a debate on the specific aspects of horizontal relationships in the complex system of housing justice.
Irina Domurath and Chantal Mak, Private Law and Housing Justice in Europe, Modern Law Review. First published: 8 July 2020. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12557.