Housing Europe News 21.03.2016
View this email in your browser
The 21st of March is not just the day that marks the official start of spring, but also a sort of a milestone for our year here at Housing Europe. With our delegation just back from the Habitat III regional meeting in Prague, our Housing 4 All campaign in unveiling and the European Responsible Housing Awards open for applications, our 2016 work programme takes shape.

Read in this edition how your members can apply for the European Responsible Housing Awards 2016, what the meeting in Prague brings en route to Habitat III in Quito as well as a news compilation from Belgium, the UK and the OECD.

Our blog column that introduces you to the faces who run the housing associations across Europe is back and we invite you to read the latest interview along with papers and reports that present different perspectives about access to quality affordable housing and about consumers' solar self-generation.

In case you'll be anywhere around eastern Europe in the end of April, make sure you don't miss our joint conference with our Hungarian member, LOSZ on modern & energy efficient future for cooperative housing.

Quick Links  Before starting to read, please allow us to give you a tip:
Go to the homepage of and log in, so that you are able to access all members only links (indicated with *). This guide will help you.

European Responsible Housing Awards 2016
Confronted with growing economic, social and environmental challenges, more and more public, cooperative and social housing organisations are enhancing and demonstrating their capacity to innovate. Providing affordable, good quality housing and services responding to the variety of needs and thus contribute to sustainable local communities, to the residents well-being, to their quality of life and their empowerment, this is the core of responsible housing.
In 2016, public, cooperative and non-profit housing providers will be able to compete for the second edition of the European Housing Responsible Awards. Jointly organised by Housing Europe, Delphis and the International Union of Tenants, the competition showcases innovative best practices and promotes exchange of knowledge between local housing providers who promote local, social and environmental sustainability, good governance and responsible HR management.
Already in 2014, 42 housing organisations from 12 countries, and the tenants organisations have shared with more than 200 target audience participants in the first ever edition of the European Responsible Housing Awards in Brussels 70 best practices that have been gathered in a Handbook.

Find out more about the award categories, the jury, the terms & conditions and apply by May 13th
Housing needs to be back on the political agenda
Housing Europe puts its mark at the European Habitat meeting

Housing Europe had a strong presence at the regional meeting of Habitat III that took place last week in Prague. With President, Marc Calon speaking at one of the plenary sessions and with speaking slots in numerous side events, our representatives made the case that the housing issue really needs to be back on the political agenda.
In the process towards a New Urban Agenda, Habitat III Europe Regional Meeting “European Habitat” discussed how to ensure access to decent, adequate, affordable and healthy housing for all, with due attention to reducing the impact of the housing sector on the environment. Final declaration from "European Habitat”, the so called "Prague Declaration" will be considered official input to the Habitat III process that aims to set the global urban agenda for the next 20 years.
Housing Europe President, Marc Calon gave a statement at the plenary session on March 17th along with other key international stakeholders. Marc insisted on the fact that:
"The market will deliver housing for rich people. For affordable housing we need the right rules and above all, responsible providers."

Read more to check out our contribution to the Prague Declaration
Better EU rules for better services of general interest (SGEI) in housing
Our letter to Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager

Housing Europe addresses, as part of its "Housing for All" campaign, Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager highlighting the need for better EU rules for better services of general interest in housing. The letter comes at a moment when the process for the review of the "Almunia Package" is about to start.

Dear Mrs Vestager,
We have a vision of a Europe which provides access to decent and affordable housing for all in socially, economically and environmentally sustainable communities where everyone is enabled to reach their full potential.
Housing is a basic need and a human right that needs the protection and constant attention of the European Union, Member States, local and regional authorities. More than 40.000 social, cooperative and public housing providers are helping in this task.
Considering that…

Read the letter on our website
Simplifying Structural Funds
A Housing Europe summary

The first set of conclusions and recommendations of the High Level Group (HLG) monitoring simplification for beneficiaries of the ESI Funds has been sent to the European Commission.
Housing Europe draws some first conclusions.

Simplified costs include using flat rates, standard scale of unit costs or lump sums instead of reimbursing real costs. This normally reduces the administrative burden on project promoters. The eligible costs are calculated according to a predefined method based on outputs, results or some other costs. The tracing of every euro of co-financed expenditure to individual supporting documents is no longer required.

Read more
Scotland: SFHA calls on political parties to sign up to five key housing pledges

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), a member of Housing Europe, is calling on political parties to acknowledge that investing in housing is vital for the nation’s health and well-being. The SFHA wants political parties to sign up to its five key asks in return for co-operation from the federation:
  1. An affordable housing target of 12,000 homes a year.
  2. Maintaining the recently increased grant available to housing associations to build new homes. A grant of at least £70,000 of public investment for a typical family home will allow social landlords to borrow more privately at no further cost to the public purse.
Read more
The highly symbolic pilot project “House Biloba”
Our Belgian member SLRB invests in social innovation

As part of the objective of the Brussels government to diversify the supply of social housing, SLRB - the parent body of the Brussels social housing sector examined and developed a framework aiming to encourage innovative projects that meet concrete housing needs. This is how the success story with the linguistically diverse name “Maison Biloba Huis” (Biloba House) came to life in the heart of a popular neighbourhood of Brussels.

Biloba is a pilot project of community housing, specifically dedicated to the elderly.
Read the full article on our blog
BSHF Community-led Housing Programme: What’s next in 2016?

BSHF, a Housing Europe member, has received funding from the Nationwide Foundation to raise awareness about community-led housing and support alliance building in England with links across Scotland, Wales and beyond. A variety of activities have been designed with the help of community-led housing experts to try to make as much impact as possible.

The end goal is to support and enable the continued growth of community-led housing based on the belief that community-led housing has the potential to be a genuine, scalable alternative to the standard models of housing provision, and that by working together this is more likely to become a reality.

Read more
On the International Women’s Day
The women leading the charge in Britain's 150-year fight for social housing
From the birth of social housing to the present day, women have been instrumental in fighting for better housing rights. While poverty disproportionately affects women, this will continue to be the case. Three campaigns stand out in the history of social housing over the past 150 years – and for each one it was women leading the charge.
Read more on The Guardian
OECD call for initiatives
Local responses to welcoming refugees: from reception to integration

The OECD LEED Programme launches this “Call for Initiatives" to extract what local authorities and other actors know works, what the new scenario is demanding and how equipped they are to respond. We are interested in learning from the experiences of EU member countries, the wider OECD area as well as other countries.

They are looking for current and past examples of:
1. Strategic responses by local governments
2. Individual projects and programmes’ that focus on immediate response and / or longer term integration

The call focuses on actions and programmes implemented at a local level by public authorities and agencies as well as NGO’s, social economy organisations, refugee councils.

Find out more

Articles & Publications
10' with Dr. Donal McManus, CEO of the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH)
Every month we introduce you to one of the people leading the work of our member organisations. In this edition, we "fly" to Dublin, in Ireland. Dr. Donal McManus, CEO of ICSH introduces the organisation, gives us information about the perception of housing in the country and shares some thoughts about the current housing crisis. Plus, as usual, he presents his own way to strike a good life-work balance.
Read the interview on our blog
OECD Working Paper is out
Policies to promote access to good-quality affordable housing in OECD countries
This paper, that was presented a year ago at one of Housing Europe Working Committee meetings, develops OECD information on housing policies and the degree to which OECD countries pursue social policy objectives them. Data collected by the OECD shows that most OECD countries provide considerable support to promote access to homeownership: reported spending can amount up to 2.3% of GDP. Most OECD countries also support the provision of social rental housing, but public support for social rental housing is declining in many countries and the private rental sector is playing an increasingly important role in promoting access to affordable housing.

The available data do not allow for a comprehensive cross-country comparison of the housing policy mix but, where available, data suggest that owner-occupied housing receives significant support compared to other tenures. Access to housing and housing quality also remain pressing concerns in many OECD countries.

Access the paper online
BEUC paper
A welcome culture for consumers’ solar self-generation

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) analyses the existing legislation as regards self-generation as well as the current situation, focussing on small-scale solar photovoltaics (PV) for household consumers. Based on BEUC’s detailed mapping report on current practices,3 the paper provides a set of policy recommendations and calls on the EU policy makers and regulators to take these into account when designing future legislation, in particular the Renewable Energy Directive and the Market Design Initiative.

Download the report
Austria: Vienna uses the industrial waste of a popular delight to heat 600 homes
Beginning in autumn, industrial waste heat from Manner’s baking process will be fed into “Wien Energie” district heating network to be used for heating and hot water for 600 households and businesses in the adjoining districts of Hernals and Ottakring. Moreover, excess industrial waste heat will be used for cooling by Manner itself. From an environmental perspective, the investment reduces annual CO2 emissions by 1,000 tons.
Manner’s project contributes to “Wien Energie” 1,200 km long district heating network which is one of the largest in Europe and supplies more than 350,000 apartments (around a third of all Viennese households) and 6,800 corporate customers with environmentally friendly heating. In all, district heating in Vienna saves 1.5m tons of CO2 emissions every year.
Read more on Vienncouver

PROF / TRAC project meeting held in Valencia
Last week, Housing Europe participated in the project meeting of PROF-TRAC hosted by the IVE, the construction institute in Valencia.

For us it was particularly important to get an overview of the train the trainers program and the target groups for the national pilot programs. Housing Europe will reach out to members to get involved in the project in the coming weeks. The next project meeting including a train the trainers program will be held in September in Croatia.

Read more and subscribe to the PROF / TRAC newsletter to stay tuned
AAL Smart Ageing Prize

The Active and Assisted Living Programme (AAL) is launching its first Challenge Prize to source innovations in internet connected devices and technologies (Internet of Things) that empower older adults to achieve the quality of life they aspire to.

The innovation should present a business opportunity which improves connectivity between older adults, devices and technologies related to any aspect of their life (e.g., home, social, work, study, transport or services).

Innovations must involve older adults in the development and testing of the technology. Deadline is 13 May 2016 at 12.00 noon CET. One winner will be announced at the AAL Forum, this year in St. Gallen between 26-28 September and will be awarded a prize of €50,000.
More information

Towards a modern & energy efficient future for cooperative housing - A Conference organised by Housing Europe and its Hungarian member, LOSZ
Budapest, 28 April 2016
The development of energy efficient modernization of condominium residences and of buildings owned by housing cooperatives. The National Federation of Housing Cooperatives Hungary (LOSZ), the Hungarian member organisation of Housing Europe organises an international conference on energy efficiency for cooperative housing with a focus on the best practices that could stimulate energy efficient modernization in Hungary.

Participants are invited to discuss the question of refurbishments resulting energy efficiency in condominium residences and in buildings owned by housing cooperatives. The Board of LOSZ noted that the energy efficient modernization in Hungarian housing stock is lagging behind and believes that reducing energy costs would lead to real savings of the maintenance costs of households in the long run.

Find out more and register now!
Social production of Habitat Award 2016 & the World Habitat Award 2016/2017

urbaMonde and Habitat & Participation invite you to engage to the Social production of Habitat Award 2016 and the World Habitat Award 2016/2017.

Are you part of a community-led housing project (CLT, Housing Cooperative, co-housing or participatory housing project, eco-neighborhood)? Are you an NGO, Network or Federation supporting community-led housing projects?

Project Submissions: before April 20, 2016
Selected projects will be presented at the 1st European Hub Meeting on the Social Production of Habitat May 20 in Brussels, Belgium.

Read more
2nd meeting of the European Migration Forum
6-7 April, Brussels
The European Migration Forum is a platform for dialogue between civil society and the European institutions on issues related to migration, asylum and integration of third-country nationals. The theme of this year's event will be legal/labour migration, as a follow up to the Legal Migration Package that will be presented by the Commission in March 2016.
This event is co-organised by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee and will take place on 6-7 April 2016 in Brussels.
More information
* To access the members only content, please login using the credentials of your organisation. In case you have difficulties, please contact Michalis Goudis.