We could learn a lot from Helsinki, which has managed a 35 per cent reduction in homelessness

You aren’t going to end homelessness by putting people in shelters. You are going to end homelessness by giving people homes.

Not just those who are clean and sober. But also the addicted and the mentally ill.

“We used to think that people somehow needed to get sober to be able to live in a flat,” said Jan Vapaavuori, mayor of Helsinki. “But then we turned that around. You need an apartment in order to get sober.”

The quote is from one of a series of Politico articles by Charlie Duxbury, on the housing challenge facing Europe, where the picture is as bleak as it is here.

Except in Finland — the only EU country in which homelessness is falling.