Housing Europe News 03.10.2016
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Spending almost a week dedicated to public, cooperative and social housing at the European UN Headquarters in mid-September blew fresh wind in the sails of Housing Europe. The conference on housing policies not only marked the culmination of the 'Housing for All' campaign but provided all of those present with innovative ideas and useful advocacy tools. And most of all with the knowledge that they are not alone but part of a broad network, backing the commitment that "housing for all is not an ambition, it's our obligation".

We are now launching into the final preparation of the next exciting milestone of the campaign, the Responsible Housing Awards, where we will show-case examples of outstanding housing projects from around the EU. The initiatives have been selected by a multi-disciplinary jury led by the International Union of Tenants, based on their unique balance of innovation in environmental, social and economic responsibility to local communities. We are convinced that the winners will not only inspire others on how they can sustainably deliver ‘housing for all’ but also help direct the EU on the path to meeting our commitments of the housing dimension of the UN & EU Urban Agendas, Sustainable Development Goal 11 and Cop 22 Climate agreement. Find out more & register by 16 November.

Read in this issue a detailed report of the conference, check out all presentations as well as how the Twittershere captured the event. We have also reported on the study visits that followed to a cooperative and to a student housing project in Geneva that illustrate how alternative solutions can be generated even in the most highly-priced housing markets.

Follow the visit of the European Commission Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič to Genk to our newest member, VVH and welcome both the Association of Flemish Social Housing Companies as well as our first partner, the Technical University of Athens to the Housing Europe family.

Fly with us to Malaga for the first meeting of our Mediterranean members that share not only challenges but solutions, too. In case you haven't received the print version already we invite you to download a copy of our '10' with...' magazine to see how the first 20 interviews with housing leaders across Europe look like on paper.

Our President, Marc Calon and our Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards were in Nantes for the annual USH conference, check out the debates from one of the biggest housing events in Europe.

There is much more from the Habitat III front, from Scotland, Austria and the EU Institutions. We have tried to sum up the most important news.

Last but not least, take a moment to get updated regarding the projects Housing Europe contributes to and other that may constitute an opportunity for your organisation and please do not forget to share with us who you would like to include in our new thematic mailing lists.

Enjoy the read! 

Quick Links 

The Housing Policies of our Future: How to make them work
All you need to know about the international conference at the UN HQ in Geneva

Many countries in Europe are at the crossroads of reforming their housing systems under pressure of an extended housing crisis; more affordable homes are needed. How can the policy makers respond to these changing needs? What is the right policy mix?. Housing Europe joined forces with the UNECE Housing and Land Management Committee and Housing Cooperatives International to answer this question in our joint conference “The Housing Policies of the future: How to make them work” which took place on September 15th showcasing the impact of successful housing policies and highlighting the on-going challenges.

In a room full of more than 180 delegates, including housing providers, representatives from a wide range of housing ministry representatives from the UNECE region, local authorities, international institutions, academia and from the civil society at the UN European Headquarters, the Palace of Nations in Geneva the conference was the culmination of the ‘Housing for All’ campaign led by Housing Europe that aimed to generate concrete policy suggestions on issues that directly or indirectly affect the housing policies of all member states.

Read our detailed report

See how the Twittershere captured the event through our Storify
European Commission recommendations on promotion of NZEBs

In the end of July the European Commission released its guidelines for the promotion of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) and best practices that, by 2020, all new buildings are NZEBs. 

As the EPBD review is due during the last quarter of 2016 and given the particular attention paid to energy efficiency policy, the Commission published the following recommendations:
  • Set national definition of NZEBs sufficiently ambitious based on proposed benchmark energy performances of NZEBs according on climatic zones
  • Member States should assess at the earliest whether adaption of existing practices is needed
  • Synergies among policies, support measures and NZEBs are advisable
  • Member States should furthermore focus on the refurbishment of existing building stocks towards NZEBs levels.
European Commission Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič visits Housing Europe member- VVH showcases convincing results of investment in energy efficiency in Flanders

The Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for the Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič made a field visit in Genk to the newest Housing Europe member organisation, VVH- the Association of Flemish Social Housing Companies. Mr. Šefčovič had the chance to visit a housing project that is a concrete example of energy efficient refurbishment in the social housing neighbourhood of Zwartberg but also to have an exchange with Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards around the overall contribution of public, cooperative and social housing providers towards fair, green energy transition.

Read more
Housing Europe welcomes new member and partner
VVH and TEI Athens join the family

Housing Europe is happy to announce that the General Assembly that took place in Geneca on September 14th has approved the applications of VVH - Association of Flemish Social Housing Companies and of TEI - Technological Educational Institute of Athens to become member and partner of our organisation respectively.

Read more and check out their profiles
Affordable housing solutions in an expensive urban landscape. Housing Europe members visit cooperative and student housing projects in Geneva

In a city where monthly rent can easily exceed 1.500 Euros while the overall living costs are among the highest in the world affordable housing alternatives are crucial for many people who otherwise would be confronted with social exclusion. What forms does the response to these needs take in Geneva? Housing Europe members paid a visit to a cooperative and to a student housing project that provide solid proof about the balancing impact of affordable alternatives on a saturated housing market.

Read more on our blog
The Final Draft of the New Urban Agenda is out

The final draft text of the New Urban Agenda to be adopted during the Habitat III on 17-20 October in Quito has been presented. 

The document has been prepared on the basis of inputs and negotiations throughout the Habitat III intersessional process and echoes the position of Housing Europe that welcomes the fact that housing is at its center, e.g. “We commit to promote national, sub-national, and local housing policies that support the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing for all as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living”.

The New Urban Agenda is an action-oriented document which will set global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors at all levels of government as well as the private sector.

A Housing Europe delegation, consisting of Özgür Öner of GdW, Chair of the Housing Europe Urban Affairs Committee and Joao Carvalhosa of CECODHAS Portugal, Chair of the Housing Europe Social Affairs Committee will be the voice of public, cooperative and social housing providers in Quito and will be delivering the key outcomes and policy recommendations from the Housing Europe Housing for All campaign to a global audience.

Read here the Draft New Urban Agenda
Housing Europe President and Secretary General bring the European dimension to USH annual conference
Housing Europe President, Marc Calon took part at the round table discussion on a 'Cap on the sustainability of the economic model and the European perspective'. Marc mentioned the 'State of Housing in the EU' report showing increasing housing needs and reduced expenditure in most countries since the crisis as well as the on-going influence of state aid laws on social housing systems. At the same time Marc compared the French with other European social housing models, underlining that the resilience of the French sector lies on the fact that it makes good use of savings rather than relying on commercial banks only. 

You may watch the video the discussion (in FR) on demand
Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards discussed with Laurent Ghekiere, Head of EU Affairs of our French member, Union Sociale pour l' Habitat the state of housing in the EU, presenting the key conclusions of the 2015 report and offered a short preview of the 2017 thematic update.

Watch the discussion between Laurent and Sorcha (in FR) on demand
Social housing in Mediterranean Europe
Housing Europe members share challenges and ideas with each other

In an increasingly two-tier Europe there are different groups of EU member states that face similar challenges, a reality that leads to initiatives that bring them together to find the best possible ways to address them. Following the example of their political leaders who held recently in Athens the first Med Summit, Housing Europe member from the Mediterranean were hosted on September 29th in Malaga to discuss the next steps for the public, cooperative and social housing sector that has been hit hard by the crisis.

Read more
Promoting social innovation for inclusion of refugees
The crucial importance of housing

Housing Europe was invited by an ECRE to contribute to a housing working group as part of an inspiring seminar asking How social innovation and social innovators can contribute to the integration of refugees in European societies? The seminar on the topic of “Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion”, held at the European Economic and Social Committee, brought together 280 speakers and representatives from refugee groups to civil society organisations, cities, tech companies, start-ups, and private sector representatives.

Read more
Implementation of EFSI: Unlocking investment for social inclusion - Housing Europe shares its views on the ‘Juncker Plan’

Housing Europe was invited to share views by the EASPD at their seminar organised in the European Parliament on the 'Implementation of the European Fund for Strategic Investment: unlocking investment for social services'. 

Read more and check out Sorcha's contribution
Scotland: Loans to help make warmer homes

Housing Europe Scottish member, SFHA has welcomed a new equity-loan scheme in which will tackle the difficulties in refurbishing mixed ownership properties. More people will be able to make their homes warm and water-tight through a new £10 million fund. The pilot scheme in Glasgow, Argyll and Bute and Perthshire will provide equity loans of up to £40,000 to home owners on low incomes to help them make essential repairs to leaking roofs and building structures. This work is often necessary before energy efficiency measures like solid-wall insulation can be installed. The funding can be used either as a single equity loan or with other existing Scottish Government grants to fund more expensive measures like solid wall insulation or a package of energy efficiency works.

Read more
Be part of the Housing Europe thematic mailing lists (*)

As we announced at the General Assembly 2016 Housing Europe will soon be launching thematic mailing lists in an attempt to increase transparency in its work while fighting against spamming its members. 

Three thematic lists have been created:
  1. Advocacy – Stay informed on latest legislative developments & Feed directly into our lobbying activities
  2. Communications – Don’t miss out on how and what your housing communication peers across the EU are communicating and contribute to pan-EU campaigns
  3. EU Projects - Get all essential information related to EU project calls and project work
You are invited to join the one that is more relevant to your work and the one dealing with Housing Europe activities you would like to contribute to.

Articles & Publications
'10 minutes with...' - Our blog column now in print

We are delighted to present you a special edition for the second publication of our magazine. Since December 2014, every month, we introduce you to one of the people leading the work of our member organisations. This series of articles is called the “10 minutes with” and relies on the concept of getting to know better the members as well as showing the diversity of approaches existing in housing organisations.
In this first volume, we invite you to travel through Europe to meet 20 housing leaders that have shared some thoughts with us and offer a better overview of the perception of housing in their country. You will get to know their organisation and discover who they are as they present their own way to strike a good life-work balance. The column is an ongoing process, open to all Housing Europe members.

Read and download the magazine
Neue Heimat Tirol illustrates sustainability of passive houses
GbV issues Austrian Housing Handbook 2016

The Technical University of Vienna presented some groundbreaking lessons learnt from the Neue Heimat Tirol (NHT) multi-storey Lodenareal residential building about passive houses. At the same time the Austrian umbrella association and Housing Europe member, GbV shares the Austrian Housing Handbook 2016.

Read more
FEANTSA and Fondation Abbé Pierre report on Social Exclusion

Following on from the first ever European Housing Exclusion Index last year, FEANTSA and Fondation Abbé Pierre have released the 2016 Index, which uses newly-released Eurostat (EU-SILC) data on living and housing conditions from the year 2014 – this being the only European-wide data which allows for the assessment of EU countries’ capacity to adequately house their populations.

11.5% of the total European population experiences housing cost overburden and this rate rises to 40% for poor European households. 5% of the total EU population faces severe housing deprivation. Fifteen European countries saw a rise in the proportion of the population unable to keep their home adequately warm between 2007 and 2014 (+4,9 % for UK, +7,3 % for Italy, +19,1 % for Greece). For a substantial part of Europe, quality and adequacy of housing is still a major challenge.

Read more
Eurostat Publication: Urban Europe — Statistics on cities, towns and suburbs

One of the latest EUROSTAT publications reviews statistical information is an important tool for analysing changing patterns of urban development and the impact that policy decisions have on life in our cities, towns and suburbs. Urban Europe — statistics on cities, towns and suburbs provides detailed information for a number of territorial typologies that can be used to paint a picture of urban developments and urban life in the EU Member States, as well as EFTA and candidate countries. Overall, there are 12 chapters, covering respective issues, including one dedicated to ‘housing in cities’.

We invite you to read this chapter on p.204
Special Issue of the Journal of Housing Economics on research related to 'Housing in Europe: issues of supply, affordability and tenure'

The Academic Journal of Housing Economics on research is planning a Special Issue featuring research that sheds light on the housing market impacts of various institutional settings, including mortgage financing, and housing policies across Europe. One aim of the Issue is to try to better understand those aspects of housing markets across Europe which are fundamental to our societies and their economies relative to those which are the result of policy or institutional differences. They welcome submissions that explore the determinants and consequences of homeownership or renting and in particular contributions that have access to high quality rental data as our understanding of the functioning of the rental market is still limited.

Find out more and submit your paper

Developing the skills needed for the future of nZEB. Housing Europe takes part in the PROF-TRAC meeting in Zagreb

In the third week of September, Housing Europe participated in the project meeting of PROF-TRAC hosted by the Croatian Chamber of Mechanical Engineers HKIS in Zagreb. The meeting combined the second session of the so called 'train the trainers' course together with a project coordination meeting. In the 'train the trainers' course held first, trainers developed national courses to take place over the course of next year. After that, the project consortium met to discuss the steps ahead.

PROF-TRAC is an EU funded project developing training courses and an open qualification platform for all stakeholders dealing with nearly zero energy buildings (nZEB).

Read more
Horizon 2020 Partner Search: Heat Interface Unit

For the FTI pilot of Horizon 2020, IVAR Spa an Italian company working on hydronic components and systems is looking for project partners. The aim of the project is to develop and put forward an optimized Heat Interface Unit providing on-demand heating and hot water using two heat exchangers without the need for cylinder storage. The use of valves to regulate temperature requires the development of a dedicated electronic equipment that interconnects with smart systems for remote control. IVAR Spa is particularly looking for partners that have the possibility to provide one or more pilot installations to field-test the new units. The deadline for the proposal is 25 October 2017 and the project will develop over 30 months. Further information can be found here.

Should you be interested in joining the consortium, please contact Alessandra Massaro
AAL list of funded projects: source of inspiration (*)

Housing Europe has put together a list of funded projects as best practices on the topic of independent living in an ageing society through innovative ICT solutions. Each project has developed or harnessed new technologies or ICT solutions that address the pressing challenges of caring for and assisting European citizens in or approaching their golden years.

Read more about AAL & Check out our dedicated section on our 'EU Funding' portal
Climate-Proofing Social Housing Landscapes
A new Implementation Guide for housing providers

Climate-Proofing Social Housing Landscapes, a project run by Groundwork London in partnership with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, aims to demonstrate how to prepare and adapt in order to future-proof existing buildings and infrastructure, minimizing the impact extreme weather events will have on both the environment and on people's lives.

Read more on our blog & Check out the implementation guide

European Responsible Housing Awards 2016
Award Ceremony & Conference, 23 November, Brussels

The time to find out who are the leading housing associations across Europe demonstrating socially innovative practices has come. The Award Ceremony of the second edition of the European Responsible Housing Awards is taking place along with an international conference on 23 November at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels.

62 best practices from 9 countries have been submitted to the 4 categories that correspond to the core elements of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Find out more & register by 16 November
Save the date: European Energy Efficiency Conference 2017
Call for papers open until 10 October 2016!

The European Energy Efficiency Conference will be held on 1-3 March 2017 as part of the annual international World Sustainable Energy Days conference. The European Energy Efficiency Conference is dedicated to technologies, policies and markets, informs about innovative business and financing models and presents pilot projects and best practice solutions. Experts from all over the world come together in Wels/Austria to discuss current research results and successful energy efficiency strategies and policies.

CALL FOR PAPERS & Propose a Speaker

Take the opportunity to share your work, expertise, ideas and insights with an international audience. Deadline for submissions: 10 October 2016

For more information:
Workshop: Training on Deep Renovation
Potsdam, 25 October 2016
EURHONET and the DREEAM consortium are organizing a training event for housing associations and local authorities in Europe on key topics around deep renovation.
This is an invitation-only event intended to foster exchanges and learning around renovation-related topics of increasing importance to housing associations in Europe.

Who is the training aimed at?
The training is targeted at decision-makers in housing associations and local authorities, involved in strategic planning or implementation of renovation projects.

More information about the event

Register online by 14 October
Renovate Europe Day 2016
13 October 2016, Brussels
The EU’s major buildings regulations are coming under review this autumn with the Energy Efficiency Package. Renovate Europe invites you to contribute to the debate with the Slovak EU Presidency, key stakeholders and policy-makers at Renovate Europe Day 2016 (REDay2016), about how to set the EU vision to achieve Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) standards by 2050 for the building stock.

Find out more and register
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