Housing Europe News 20.02.2017
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Although we are already well into 2017, allow us in this edition to briefly rewind to 2016. Our Yearbook is out! This edition puts both our work and the wider developments the housing into perspective.  

Back to the present day, we had the chance to meet with the cabinet of the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Marianne Thyssen to make the case for the added value of social investments, particularly in our sector. We also welcomed the new tool by the OECD, the Affordable Housing Database, while we have met MEPs to explore together the role of the European Parliament for the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We invite you to follow us to Belfast, Amsterdam, Seville and Prague for news from our members and from our contribution to a series of international events, including the BUILD UPON Workshop and the EU Urban Agenda Migration Conference.

Make sure you check out the Projects and the Events section, spring is going to be full of networking, partnership and training opportunities for you and your members. 
Enjoy the read!

Quick Links 

Housing Europe Yearbook 2016 is out!
Every Yearbook includes a section titled “What to expect in…”, aiming to give you a taste how the year ahead might look like. Well, for 2016 probably nobody could have been able to foresee what to expect. The last bit of our multi-annual work programme had to be carried out within a challenging and rather extraordinary international context. But this actually supported our core message that ‘Housing for All’ is not just the ambition of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing Providers, but it’s our obligation...

The 2016 edition of our Yearbook is now out, bringing you the highlights of our work at Housing Europe as well as the most important policy developments for the housing sector and more...
New OECD Affordable Housing Database

A few days ago, the OECD launched its new Affordable Housing Database (AHD), a tool to help countries monitor access to good-quality affordable housing and strengthen the knowledge base for policy evaluation. It brings together cross-national information from OECD countries and EU member states.

The database currently includes indicators grouped along three main dimensions: housing market context, housing conditions, and public policies towards affordable housing. Each indicator presents data on a particular issue, relevant definitions and methodology, as well as key results. Indicators also discuss comparability, data and source issues, and, where relevant, include the raw data or descriptive information across countries.

Alice Pittini, who is currently concluding her one-year career development break at the OECD and will be coming back to lead the Housing Europe Observatory introduces this new tool with a blog post.
The French leading daily Le Monde has reported on the finding of the OECD, highlighting that “affordable housing is a challenge for Europe”. You may read the article, quoting the Chair of the Housing Europe Observatory, Laurent Ghekiere, here.
Towards more public social investment in EU economic governance: Which way forward?

A Social Platform delegation, including Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards met with the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen on February 9th. The representatives of the Brussels-based NGOs made the case that social investments help create more social justice, contributing to more converging societies, while there are inherent economic returns and advantages in them.

Housing Europe highlighted the fact that there has been extensive work done on measuring the impact of social investment in the social housing sector.
State of the Energy Union: Europe's energy transition progress report

On 1 February, the European Commission published its Second State of the Energy Union Report that shows that modernization of the European Union economy and the transition to a low-carbon era are happening. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewable energy, Europe is on track to reach its 2020 targets. To further drive this process, the Commission also announced a new Energy Union tour.

The EU as a whole has continued to make good progress on delivering the Energy Union objectives, in particular on the 2020 energy and climate targets. It has already achieved its 2020 final energy consumption target. The same is true for greenhouse gas emissions: in 2015, EU greenhouse gas emissions were 22% below the 1990 level.

Read more on BUILD UP
Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals - The role of the European Parliament

On 1 February, SDG Watch Europe held its General Assembly in Brussels. Our Policy Officer, Edit Lakatos participated and reports on the main developments. The Assembly aimed to provide SDG Watch Members with an opportunity to meet with 13 MEPs and to discuss the Parliament's role in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more
Federcasa President, Luca Talluri visits Housing Europe

Luca Talluri, the President of the Italian Social Housing Federation, Federcasa visited the offices of Housing Europe in Brussels on Tuesday, February 14th. Luca, accompanied by his colleague, Valentina Pratesi, had the chance to discuss with Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards ways to improve the internal coordination when it comes to EU Projects. The Italian delegation also met with the Social Platform Policy and Advocacy Adviser, Valentina Caimi to exchange views on social investment and the potential of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the so called "Juncker Plan".
Housing Europe at the BUILD UPON Workshop in Seville

Housing Europe Secretary General was among the speakers invited to contribute to the BUILD UPON Workshop dedicated to social agents, making the case for awareness raising as a priority for the energy transition in buildings. BUILD UPON aims to empower 1,000 key stakeholders – from governments and businesses, to NGOs and householders – across 13 countries, to shape the change needed in our existing buildings.

Sorcha delivered an overview of the lessons learned on developing innovative business cases that work for home owners, tenants and landlords...

Read the rest of the article on our website

Reception and Housing of Migrants and Refugees - Report from the EU Urban Agenda Workshop

Following the working conference on ‘Reception and Housing of Migrants and Refugees’ that took place the 10th- 11th of November 2016 the city of Amsterdam just published the report on the results. The recommended methods include many of our suggestions that we communicated through our scoping paper and through our active participation at the conference. Housing Europe had prepared a scoping paper that helped set the agenda and that triggered the exchange between partners, while our President, Marc Calon held a presentation during the event.

Read our summary & download the full report
NIFHA announce new chief executive
The Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations, NIFHA, a Housing Europe member, has announced the replacement for outgoing-CEO Cameron Watt, appointing Ben Collins as a Chief Executive.

Read more
SCMBD President, Jiri Barta passed away

With great grief Housing Europe has been informed of the loss of Jiri Barta, the President of our Czech member organisation, SCMBD. Jiri Barta has been leading the Czech cooperatives since 2015. Marc Calon who had paid a visit to the country just after Barta's appointment sent a letter to our colleagues, expressing the condolences of the Housing Europe family.

Read here our interview with Jiri Barta on our blog

Articles & Publications
Belgium: Mechelen mayor Bart Somers wins World Mayor Prize

Bart Somers, mayor of Mechelen has been awarded the World Mayor Prize. The biennial prize is awarded by the City Mayors Foundation to a mayor who “has made exceptional contributions to their community and whose vision for urban living is relevant to towns & cities globally”.

The foundation gave Somers credit for turning Mechelen into a role model for integration. One in five people in Mechelen has North African roots, there are 128 nationalities, and the city has a zero record for young men travelling to Syria and Iraq to fight.

Read more
Is Europe ready for the smart buildings revolution?
The Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) has published its analysis on the readiness of EU countries to transition to smart buildings. Assessing aspects such as dynamic operability, energy-system responsiveness and renewable energy uptake the report presents a series of progressive policies and innovative front-runner projects which prove the economic viability of smart buildings.

The key conclusion is that no Member State is fully prepared to take advantage of the benefits that smart building technologies will entail.

Read more
Good practices to end energy poverty

As a follow to the European Energy Poverty Handbook, to which Housing Europe has contributed with a chapter, MEP Tamas Meszerics (Greens, Hungary) and his team have just published a series of good practices to end energy poverty. The projects that have been included in this volume range from large scale interventions to smart metering and energy advice to bottom-up initiatives and more.

Read and download the publication

Getting our homes future ready: A Housing Europe Training Session
8 March, Brussels

An initiative of Housing Europe as part of the PROF/TRAC project that aims at:
  1. Identifying and promoting the skills and training needs in the field of housing retrofitting
  2. Sharing common understanding between the stakeholders of the housing renovation markets by building upon other flagship programmes
  3. Informing the policy at the EU level on the training and skills needed to achieve a fair energy transition
The agenda is now available! Read more
Study Visit

As part of the event a study visit will be held to the newly built SLRB social housing project at the passive house standard in Brussels on Rue de la Plume, 1000 (Quartier des Marolles).

Find all practical information here
URBACT Good Practice Call
Deadline: 31 March 2017

This call invites your city to come forward with your good practices in the field of sustainable integrated urban development to:
  • Be part of the pioneering group of URBACT Good Practices to be widely promoted at EU and international level
  • Be able to share the Good Practice within the framework of a Transfer Network (Call to be published in September 2017)
By becoming an URBACT Good Practice City, you’ll have the chance to advocate for sustainable and integrated urban development at URBACT events and capacity-building activities including the ones related to the contribution to the EU Urban Agenda.

How can this call be relevant to you and your members? More information on how to apply here
Call for partnership: EU funding for energy efficiency piloting action with tenants           

Housing Europe and green with IT support an EU project call focussing on a piloting action for landlords and tenants: ‘engaging private consumers towards sustainable energy’ is now open for funding. Housing associations/companies all across the EU are called to join clearly defined technological and socio-economical action packages to implement in their inventory.

This coordination and support action is funded 100%, covering all costs for working hours (engineers, social workers, administration) to a maximum of expected 2 million Euros. Deadline for applications is 7 June 2017.

Find out more & get in touch with Housing Europe Project Officer, Laura Gies, as soon as possible, if you are interested.
Save the date for the ABRACADABRA International Workshop

The 3rd International Workshop within the framework of the ABRACADABRA project is going to take place in Brussels on March 16th. Under the topic of 'Activating a market for deep-renovation through building additions: regulatory challenges' the event is going to present a diverse mix of challenges on the ground- as they have been marked through the national meetings- as well as innovative responses to them. 

Eva Bauer of our Austrian Member, GBV will be among the speakers. Eva will hold a presentation on the issue of 'Norms and regulations: opportunity or disincentive' within the framework of the session dedicated to the success factors of deep renovation across Europe, exploring how best practices can be replicated.

The agenda will be available soon, you may check it on the project website
Transition Zero International Workshop

Housing Europe attended the international workshop hosted in Paris by Greenflex within the framework of the Transition Zero project. This one-day event has been an intensive training and sharing of experience between the teams in the UK and in France that are currently trying to replicate the Energiesprong scheme in the respective countries. Momentum, Scale, Investment, the Energy Plan and the Volume Deal have been identified as the key factors for success with the Dutch team, lead by Ron van Erck, facilitating the exchange among the participants. 

Housing Europe will deliver the EU policy recommendations and will contribute to the dissemination of the project outcomes.

Find out more
PV Financing National Advisory Papers and Implementation Guidelines published

PV Financing aims to successfully remove barriers and identify new avenues for the photovoltaic market development. The advisory papers, produced within the framework of the project, describe the identified regulatory barriers and the policy recommendations for the implementation of PV projects in the 7 countries of the Project (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the UK) and Europe.

On the other hand, the implementation guidelines, especially the European one, describe all the relevant business models for Europe and the best practice examples based on the countries mentioned above.

Housing Europe March 2017 meetings
Working Committees and European RETROFIT day

Housing Europe members are gathering again in Brussels in the second week of March (8-9/3/2017) for a one-day training on energy transition in public, cooperative and social housing as well as for the first Working Committee meetings of the year.

Find out more & register for both events
Enter the World Habitat Awards 2017-18!

Every year, two outstanding housing projects are selected as winners of the World Habitat Awards. Entries are now open for the 2017-18 awards. Housing Europe member, BSHF is looking for housing projects and approaches which demonstrate practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to current housing issues all around the world, viewing the term ‘habitat’ from a broad perspective and bring other benefits as well, such as energy saving, income generation, social inclusion, community and individual empowerment, education etc.

The winning projects will receive a £10,000 prize and international recognition for their achievements along with the chance to attend an award ceremony at a global UN event in 2018. All entries must be received by 1 March 2017.

Read more 
How to promote Community-led Housing? An international perspective
2 March 2017, Geneva

Which models of Community-led housing are being developed across the world? What do they have in common? What are relevant tools and policy instruments? If you’re interested in the latest developments around these emerging affordable housing alternatives, this event may feed you with interesting information.

Isobel Ashford from BSHF and Guido Schwarzendahl from GdW and Cooperative Housing International will contribute to the conference that will be also attended by the UN Special Rapporteur for Adequate Housing, Leilani Farha.

Find out more and register
World Sustainable Energy Days 2017
1-3 March - Wels, Austria
The 2017 edition of the World Sustainable Energy Days, one of Europe’s largest annual conferences in this field, offers 8 conferences and 3 interactive events covering technologies, policies and markets. For more than 20 years, experts from all over the world have gathered in Upper Austria to attend the conference - in 2016, the event attracted over 700 participants from 57 countries. The conference makes an important contribution to awareness raising about renewable energy and energy efficiency. Housing Europe has been among the invited experts many times.

Find out more and register
Workshop: Strategic skills to mobilise stakeholders through social media for sustainable impact

This workshop, coordinated by Eddy Adams and Abhay Adhikari, will help you exploit the power of storytelling on social media to create a dynamic Digital Identity for your projects, suggesting effective ways to connect purpose with action.
  • Learn how to co-produce meaningful outcomes with communities online and offline
  • Develop a tone of voice that helps you build trust and manage risk
  • Consolidate your existing assets and get better results to create impact
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