Housing Europe News 16.05.2016
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It may only be two floors away from the old one, but it is already bringing fresh air both to the Secretariat and to the Members' delegations based in Brussels. The new Housing Europe Center has just opened its doors at Square de Meeus 18 on the 3rd floor and is ready to welcome you. 

Moving to a new office comes at a time when we are fine-tuning the work programme and events for the second semester of the year. The New Urban Agenda that will be formalized during Habitat III in Quito will be one of the milestones for the months to come and it is definitely encouraging that the Zero Draft- published last week- highlights the crucial importance of affordable housing.

Scroll through this edition to watch Sorcha debating energy poverty on Catalan TV, to read about the challenging times Hungarian cooperatives are facing, to see how Cap HLM adds up to the housing4all momentum but also to find out about the latest EIB support to social housing in the UK. 

The challenge of affordable housing and the EU Urban Agenda and the impact of energy directives to the work of housing providers dominate our "Publications" section. Take a moment to get updated regarding the projects Housing Europe contributes to and other that may constitute an opportunity for your organisation. Last but not least, don't forget to save the date for the upcoming events.

Enjoy the read!

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Housing at the core of the New Urban Agenda Zero Draft
Encouraging development as the final countdown to Habitat III starts

The Habitat III zero draft has been submitted on 6 May 2016 by the Bureau of the Preparatory Committee. Housing is at the core of the document reflecting the position of Housing Europe, as expressed during the European Habitat meeting in Prague, that "housing needs to be back on the political agenda".

Housing Europe will continue its efforts to influence this agenda which will set the global policy context for the next 20 years. It must not only firmly prioritise the goal of delivering adequate housing for all, but also reflect the needs of those working to attain this goal on the ground including public, cooperative and social housing providers.

We have prepared a summary of the key points that underline the importance of affordable and decent housing within the New Urban Agenda.
Catalan TV debate on Energy Poverty

Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards was invited to the political debate show of the Catalan TV station El Punt Avui “Via Europa” on April 27th. Sorcha discussed with MEPs, Javi López (S & D, Spain) and Tamás Meszerics (Greens, Hungary) exchanged views about combating increasing household costs and fuel poverty in Catalunya, in Spain and in Europe.

Sorcha underlined the key role of the social housing sector, while all participants referred to the recent European Parliament Report on the antipoverty target.

Watch the interview (in Spanish)
Apply now for the European Responsible Housing Awards 2016!

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.

NEW DEADLINE for applications: June 1st 2016

Find out more all you need to know about the awards on this BUILD UP article

Terms and conditions are now available in Dutch, Swedish and French

Apply now!
Investing in a more energy efficient future
Challenging times for Hungarian cooperatives

Invited by our Hungarian Member, LOSZ (National Federation of Housing Cooperatives Hungary), Marten Lilja, Board Member of Housing Europe and Edit Lakatos, our Policy Assistant, participated in the international conference on development of energy efficient modernization in the end of April.

At a time when housing cooperatives in Hungary are planning to invest in a more energy efficient future of their stock, they seem to be missing a key tool; access to EU funding. What’s the reason behind this decision that was made a few hours before the event kick off? How does LOSZ react?

Read the report from the event as well as updates about the latest developments in Hungary
Report: Huge disparities in ambition & progress of energy efficiency policies

The latest Energy Efficiency Watch report shows that there are huge disparities between Member States in levels of ambition and progress of energy efficiency policies. Comparing the level of progress across Member States to 2012, quite a lot of "up-and-down" movements can be observed.

Austerity policies also had an impact on the availability of funding programmes for energy efficiency in some Member States. In relation to the obligation under Article 9 of the EPBD requiring all new buildings to be nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEB) by the end of 2020 and public buildings already by end of 2018, in 14 countries, 50 % or more of the experts believe that their country is lagging very much behind in their building policies.

Find the complete report here
Additional momentum for housing4all
The case of Cap HLM in France

In the previous edition of our newsletter we had presented a movement that seems to start being shaped in many European countries around the universal message for access to decent and affordable housing that will give an end to the increasing social exclusion.

Apart from the campaigns already mentioned, our French member USH launched “Cap HLM”, a collective initiative aiming to adapt social housing to the current context by making good use of emerging opportunities and addressing all kinds of challenges such as digitalisation, allocation policy, mobility problems etc.

Read more on our blog
European Community-led Housing HUB

urbaMonde and Habitat&Participation ASBL jointly organise the first European Community-Led Habitat HUB in Belgium during the last weekend of May. The HUB will be held in the framework of the 7th Co-housing Fair (Salon de l’Habitat Groupé) in Louvain-la-Neuve. Four Community-Led Housing projects from Spain, UK, Germany and Switzerland Europe will receive the European Community-led Habitat Award during a public ceremony and share their experiences with peers, representatives of public institutions, local governments, and housing experts.

The event is a chance to meet inspiring European Community-led Housing projects and their networks at the Habitat Groupé Far in Louvain-la-Neuve. Housing Europe is invited to attend both days of meetings and to explore the future potential of community-led housing.

Find out more in this guest blog post
UK: £1 billion EIB backing for social housing

The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide GBP 1 billion for new social housing investment across the UK in partnership with the Housing Finance Corporation (THFC). The expanded Affordable Housing Finance programme will help to alleviate shortages in affordable housing and accelerate construction of new build social housing.

The new engagement represents the largest ever support for social housing by the European Investment Bank anywhere in Europe and follows the successful allocation of a previous GBP 500 million loan, signed in December 2013, under the Affordable Housing Finance initiative, to registered providers of social housing in the UK.

Read more
Belgium: SLRB presents the Rental Observatory 2015

The Housing Europe Belgian member, SLRB has just published its annual "rental mirror" in the area of Brussels for 2015. The study presents a number of indicators that shed light to the state of housing in the Belgian capital.

Relatively high rents, an ageing population and the emerging alternative of flat sharing are among the main observations of the survey.

Check out all key findings on our blog
"My Goal is a Home"
Housing Europe supports an EU Action Plan to end homelessness

The European Parliament launched a written declaration calling for an EU Action Plan to End Homelessness in the EU. Housing Europe expresses its support to this effort to ensure that the most vulnerable and socially excluded members of our society are included in EU policy formation.

Backed by the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless, FEANTSA, MEPs hope to bring the EU homelessness strategy back on track. Housing Europe and its members, consistent to its efforts aiming to support the most vulnerable, support the declaration and call for MEPs to sign it.

Read more

Articles & Publications
The challenge of affordable housing in Europe and the EU Urban Agenda

The EU Urban Agenda, an initiative of the Dutch Presidency of the EU, has published an article on its website that highlights the key challenges around affordable housing in the cities of the continent. Backing their analysis with facts and figures, among other sources, from the “State of Housing in the EU 2015” findings the authors stress that:

“the condition of housing in Europe is at dare moment, and there is a need and responsibility from public institutions to counteract the spiral of speculation of real estate and housing sector in (re-)producing the issues of social inequalities. Second, the major causes producing the lack of affordable and decent housing do not happen by nature, and are not incontrovertible. […] Europe can definitely do more on tackling these issues at macro and micro level, so can do cities. There are examples and experiments which can inspire other cities.”
Read the full article
The Dutch Social Housing in a nutshell
  • 4 million people
  • 2.4 million adequate & affordable homes
  • 300 social housing associations
All you need to know about the largest social ‪housing sector in Europe, put together by our member, Aedes. A nice example of a publication that offers at a glance all key facts and figures about the sector at national level but provides with an overview of innovative responses to current challenges, such as approaches to rent arrears, independent living, transformation of unoccupied buildings etc.

Check out the Aedes publication
BUILD UP: New report analyses implementation of Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

The Concerted Action EPBD released its 2016 report "Implementing the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) – Featuring Country Reports." It analyses and compares implementation of the Directive across the 28 EU Member States and Norway.

The report is built in two parts: part A describes the main accomplishments and remaining challenges on a selection of major topics covered by the EPBD, part B provides a detailed overview of implementation in each country.     

You may find the report online
Ensure energy directives lead to real and effective energy savings
A SABO Op-Ed on EurActiv

Substantial parts of EU energy legislation are being reviewed this year, aiming to improve efficiency, cut emissions, increase supply security and save money. But a number of requirements must be met before this can happen, write Marie Linder of the Swedish Union of Tenants and former Housing Europe President and SABO CEO, Kurt Eliasson. 

Read the article

The ENLIGHTEN website is now online

The ENLIGHTEN project focuses on how European modes of governance respond to ‘fast-burning’ and ‘slow-burning’ crises. The ENLIGHTEN research team are investigating both fast- and slow-burning crises in the following areas:
  1. Banking Crises and Fiscal Sustainability
  2. Deficit Reduction and Continuity of Public Services
  3. Youth Employment and Inclusive Growth
Find out more about the project approach on the dedicated website,
Project development assistance in energy efficiency

Among the EU funding opportunities, Horizon 2020 Project Development Assistance (PDA) supports investments in energy efficiency by funding all project development activities such as feasibility studies, financial engineering, business plans, technical specifications or procurement procedures. This instrument is vital to build a massive pipeline of bankable projects.

The main idea behind PDA is that in every project funded, a significant investment portfolio is built. For every million EURO of support, investments of at least EUR 15 million are to be triggered. This in turn boosts the further development of the sustainable energy market and accelerates the achievement of related EU targets. If you want to know how PDA works, learn more about the success stories and how to apply for funding by following their webinar on 20 May from 10:00 to 11:00 online.

More information
ABRACADABRA International Workshop
Challenges and Opportunities on Add-Ons in Deep Renovation of Existing Buildings

This workshop, organised in the framework of ABRACADABRA (Assistant Buildings’ addition to Retrofit, Adopt, Cure and Develop the Actual Buildings up to zero energy, Activating a market for deep renovation) project, will explore the decision making process, how different factors influence the actual market of deep renovation, and ways to assure good solutions and decision making to activate a market for deep renovation of buildings towards Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB).

The workshop will take place on June 23rd and 24th at the University of Bologna, Italy

Read more
PV Financing Conference
Changing markets and innovative financial schemes

The EU-funded project PV (Photovoltaics) Financing analyses the PV markets of 6 European countries and Turkey as well as innovative financial mechanisms for PV development. In this session a brief overview of the project results of the 7 countries will be provided. Additionally, detailed information about the current situation and the perspective of the PV market in UK will be discussed. Furthermore, the financial mechanisms used in Germany will be presented. These include the instruments of financial institutions and those including the participation of the people. The possible combination of these two will be debated.

The event will be hosted on June 22nd at the International Congress Center of Munich, in Germany.

Find out more

EU invests in Social Housing: EIB loans in practice
Half-day seminar - 13 June, Brussels

The European Investment Bank is scaling up its support for housing. At a recent meeting at the Bank's HQ in Luxembourg, the EIB Secretary General informed the chair of our Economics, Finance and Internal Market Committee of their interest in doing even more.
The seminar will be a chance to hear directly from representatives of the EIB, to get more details about approved loans but also to present initiatives in need of financing and get feedback. The session will take place at the scheduled time of the Economics, Finance and Internal Market Committee meeting.

Visit our website for more information during next week
Housing and Health: opportunities and challenges in a time of welfare changes
Building the future of Health - 3 June, Groningen, Netherlands

Housing Europe organises within the framework of the "Building the Future of Health" conference a side-event on the issue of "Housing and Health: opportunities and challenges in a time of welfare changes".

More information
Cost effective Housing Policies in the European Union
Final event of the PROGRESS program - June 20, Brussels

The two-day (20 & 21 June) conference in Brussels will lead the project to a conclusion. The action is a close cooperation between the Flemish government, academics and stakeholders, each having their own responsibilities concerning the preparation of housing policy.

The first day, held at the Committee of the Regions, is targeted towards an international audience of academics and stakeholders, while the second day, at the Flemish Parliament, is mainly targeted towards a Flemish public. Housing Europe is responsible for the preparation of the international conference on June 20th.

Check out the draft agenda
Acting for responsible housing
Symposium – 21 June, Grenoble, France

DELPHIS, a Housing Europe partner in the European Responsible Housing Awards 2016, and SDH (Société Dauphinoise pour l’Habitat) are organising a major conference that will on the one hand illustrate how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can have a positive impact on territorial development, while it will also be the occasion for various housing stakeholders to exchange views around good practices through workshops, debates and even in the so called “innovation village”.

Find out more (in French)
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