Housing Europe News 19.10.2015
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This October may have been more chilly than usual so far in Brussels, but this does not apply to the political temperature that keeps rising. We have been working over the last weeks to prepare new tools that will help Housing Europe members in setting up new projects and in following the crucial, yet complicated, European Semester procedure. 

Marc Calon's article on the refugee crisis has been published as an Op-Ed on EurActiv attracting a lot of attention and triggering synergies as you may read below. 

Check out the highlights from the latest Housing Europe Working Committee meetings and read the briefings from all political fronts where we've been present.

The usual stroll around Europe will take you to particularly interesting paths this week with a "Big Conversation" between the tenants and the housing association's staff in Lyon, the latest developments regarding the "Right to Buy" in the UK and the alarming figures concerning homelessness in Scotland. 

Do you want to take the fast lane?  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.

Structural Funds & Housing in 2014-2020
A Housing Europe guide (*)

It is not always easy to follow the Implementation of the European Structural and Investment Funds for Housing Projects in the European Union. This guide provides you with an overview of all housing related funding opportunities. Check out all now adopted Operational Programmes adopted as well as the priorities of each region in our country profiles. Finally, find the right contact persons to launch your project as soon as possible!
Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards introduces the guide:
"For a long time now, Housing Europe has been working together with its members to ensure that housing can receive funding from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) under the current programming period. Thanks to this hard work, housing was indeed included by the European Commission among the investment priorities, and most of the adopted Operational Programmes (hereinafter OPs) include the possibility of supporting different aspects related to housing. This is notably the case of the priorities related to energy efficiency and the use of renewables, as well as social inclusion.

The aim of this publication is to provide housing practitioners and policy makers with up-to date information and figures on the funding allocated to housing in each country. The publication includes and detailed country profiles as well as good examples, and provides the reader with a broader view of on how housing will be supported between 2014 and 2020."

Read and download the guide
Tents in football fields: that is not Europe

EurActiv publishes Marc Calon's article that attracts a lot of attention by policy makers.

Housing Europe President, Marc Calon claims that Europe needs permanent solutions for the refugee crisis and explains how affordable housing associations across the continent can be the key in addressing the emergency situation.  

The article was well read and commented but also attracted reactions by EU Institutions, as Housing Europe has been requested by the Committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament to provide input for an own initiative report on migration and integration. We will keep you posted on that.
Read the full article on EurActiv
The European Semester Toolkit (*) 

Housing Europe guides you through the EU's annual cycle of economic policy guidance & surveillance.

This Toolkit is designed with the national members of Housing Europe in mind to support them in influencing the European Semester recommendations for their country. It provides practical information about the processes and the opportunities for engagement, by clarifying the key elements, timeline, and strategic actors of the new process, as well as giving links and suggesting different ways of involvement.

Access the toolkit on our website members' zone
Housing Europe Working Committee Meetings Highlights (*)

Housing Europe members held their first meeting after summer on October 12th and 13th in Brussels on the premises of the Social Platform. The refugee crisis and the member states reactions to it took over a big part of the agenda. As usual, the latest policy developments as well as the respective advocacy work of Housing Europe were presented and discussed with participants who also had the chance to be introduced to various innovative data collection systems that could support their work to influence policy.

Let us bring you through some of the highlights of all five meetings. The full report will follow soon and it will be both posted on the respective committee pages and sent to members via e-mail.

Read more and download the presentations held during both days
UK: Government accepts NHF “Right to Buy” offer

The government has accepted a housing association proposal to voluntarily accept the Right to Buy.

David Cameron today told the Conservative Party conference the government had secured a deal with housing associations, which will mean that tenants can start to buy their homes from next year.

National Housing Federation (NHF) members controlling 93% of housing association rented stock backed a proposal last week to accept the Right to Buy extension voluntarily.

In response to David Cameron’s speech announcing an agreement between the housing association sector and the Government to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants David Orr, chief executive at the National Housing Federation said:
"We are pleased that the Government has accepted our offer to independently deliver an extension to the Right to Buy. This is a better and more flexible Right to Buy for residents, for housing associations and the nation’s housing supply. Residents will get the opportunity to realise their dreams of homeownership and housing associations will be able to replace the homes sold, boosting the nation’s housing supply."

Read the complete NHF position
Commissioner Cañete calls on cities and regions to focus on energy efficiency in buildings
Andres Jaadla takes part in the meeting

Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete told representatives of Europe’s cities and regions to focus their climate change efforts on energy efficiency and especially the renovation of buildings. Cañete was speaking at the plenary session of the Committee of the Regions in Brussels and called on local leaders to put energy efficiency first in their policies.

“Cities are at the heart of the fight against climate change,” he said, “it’s where most of us live and where most of our energy is consumed. 75% of homes in the EU were inefficient, he added, and smart renovation could cut up to 40% of the bloc’s energy consumption."

Andres Jaadla of EKYL, addressing Mr. Cañete as representative of the ALDE group, highlighted the need for particular attention to energy efficiency calling the Commission to review the directives on the energy performance of buildings, and to facilitate access to the financial resources available, taking into account regional aspects, as well as the renovation with innovative and smart solutions to make buildings more energy-efficient.

Read more about the meeting and check out Andres’ presentation
Housing Europe is present at the expert seminar on 'Energy poverty in the European Union'
Housing Europe Deputy Secretary General, Julien Dijol represented the European Federation at the expert seminar hosted in the European Parliament by MEPs Benedek Jávor, Tamás Meszerics, Claude Turmes and Jean Lambert.

The event aimed to gather ideas by experts and stakeholders on Energy poverty, also as input to a Parliament Initiative report on the subject. Keynote speeches included Mathieu Fichter, cabinet member of Corina Creţu, Commissioner for regional policy and Tamás Meszerics MEP, Greens/EFA, rapporteur of the own initiative report ‘Meeting the antipoverty target in the light of increasing household costs’.

This event was particularly timely as the EP’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs is currently working on its own initiative report, ‘Meeting the antipoverty target in the light of increasing household costs’. The report is scheduled to be voted on in the committee in February 2016.

Check out the agenda of the day
Scotland: Homelessness will surge without drastic increase in affordable homes, warns SFHA

Homelessness will increase across Scotland unless ministers drastically increase the number of affordable homes being built each year, the head of the country’s social housing umbrella body has warned.

Mary Taylor, CEO of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), told The Independent that more people would either find themselves homeless or pushed into unaffordable private rental accommodation unless urgent action was taken.

She was speaking in the wake of a report published which concluded that at least 12,000 affordable homes should be built annually in Scotland over the next five years to meet rising demand – double the SNP Government’s current target of 6,000 a year.

Read more on The Independent
Germany: Stuttgart Struggles to House the Migrants It Embraces

With arson attacks on refugee camps and resistance from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own political partners, it’s not hard to find doomsayers predicting trouble for German cities absorbing asylum seekers. But in this peaceful and pragmatic city, synonymous with German know-how and corporate giants like Bosch, Porsche and Mercedes, it is possible to glimpse something else: a rosier future.

Here, migration has long been an engine of growth, and integration the bedrock of civic pride. The problems Stuttgart faces are ones that prosperous cities around the globe now share, American ones included: a dearth of affordable housing and the kind of apartments that suit the evolving demographics of the people who occupy them.
The message from Stuttgart is that migrants are needed, even welcome. The challenge is building a city they can live in.

Read the full story on The New York Times
Renovation could save billions in Grid Investment, say Researchers

Renovating the European Union’s building stock for energy efficiency will save €80 to €153 billion of investment costs into the bloc’s power system by 2050, new research obtained by EurActiv has found. 

The savings, estimated after deep renovation, are at grid and production level. They are in addition to the lower costs delivered from reduced consumption caused by the efficiency measures.

Read more

Articles & Publications
A “Big Conversation” in Lyon
Social Housing staff pays a visit to the association’s tenants

On October 8th EST Metropole Habitat employees visited 500 tenants, re-launching thus their relationship with them. We’ve "overheard" their "Big Conversation" and found out more about this innovative initiative.

Read the full story on our blog
Affordable Lending Campaign launched in the UK

Latest research findings revealed today by My Home Finance, a national social lending organisation, show that people are still taking out short term, high cost credit without knowing the true cost to them or if they will be able to afford the repayments.

On the launch of My Home Finance’s Affordable Lending Campaign, findings show that just two in five people consider if they can afford a loan before they take it out, with nearly 20% of applicants not knowing if they will be able to make the full repayment on the amount borrowed.

Read more on our blog
Social Platform Guide: "Public Procurement for Social Progress"

Social Platform, the largest civil society alliance fighting for social justice and participatory democracy (Housing Europe is a member) has just published its latest guide regarding “Public Procurement for Social Progress”.

This guide is aimed at supporting member state representatives in the transposition of the directive and contracting authorities in its implementation. It also intends to facilitate the understanding of the Directive by social economy enterprises and non-profit social and health service providers.

Download the guide in PDF
Video: Increasing ‪inequality & ‪segregation in ‪EU ‪cities explained in 1 minute

Poverty, inequality and segregation are increasing in European Cities. The widening gap between rich and poor is leading to segregation in more and more European cities. The rich and the poor are living at increasing distance from each other, and this can be disastrous for the social stability and competitive power of cities.

Check out this video to get an idea of this rigorous comparative research on socio-economic segregation in 13 European cities: Madrid, Milan, Tallinn, London, Stockholm, Vienna, Athens, Amsterdam, Budapest, Riga, Vilnius, Prague, and Oslo. Led by Professor, Maarten Van Ham “Segregation Europe” argues that a strong EU Urban Agenda is needed to create attractive, inclusive and competitive cities.

For more information 

Video: The ELOSH project in 5 minutes

You haven't had the chance to follow the ELOSH project over the last two years?

We have tried to fit all key outcomes and basic principles in a 5-minute video that will allow you to be introduced to the theme of "Housing and Support: successful ways to help people with complex housing needs"

Watch the video on the ELOSH YouTube Playlist
Ene.field Project: Fuel Cells x Combined Heat and Power (micro-CHP)
ene.field will deploy up to 1,000 residential fuel cell Combined Heat and Power (micro-CHP) installations, across 11 key European countries. It represents a step change in the volume of fuel cell micro-CHP (micro FC-CHP) deployment in Europe and a meaningful step towards commercialisation of the technology.

The programme brings together 8 mature European micro FC-CHP manufacturers into a common analysis framework to deliver trials across all of the available fuel cell CHP technologies. The ene.field project also brings together over 30 utilities, housing providers and municipalities to bring the products to market and explore different business models for micro-CHP deployment.

The data produced by ene.field will be used to provide a fact base for micro FC-CHP, including a definitive environmental lifecycle assessment and cost assessment on a total cost of ownership basis.

One of Aedes member organisations, Bo-Ex is actively involved in the project.

For more information

Conference: Civil society, cities and regions preparing for the COP21 and beyond
Brussels, 19 November 2015

The civil society, cities and regions expect that necessary ambitious, fair and binding decisions will be adopted at the UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris in December 2015 in the form of a "universal deal". In the recent years the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Committee of the Regions (CoR) have been very active in the field of climate change, following the global climate negotiations.

On 19 November 2015 the EESC and the CoR will organise a conference in Brussels that will aim to demonstrate the mobilization of these actors for COP 21 and their concrete action on climate as well as promote strong messages contributing to the shaping of the global climate agreement.

9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
EESC/CoR, Rue Belliard 99, JDE51, Brussels
Euro-CASE Annual Conference: Engineering Smart Cities of the Future-
2 November, TU Delft, Netherlands

Climate-KIC participates in the Euro-CASE Annual Conference of the European Council of Academies of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering. The conference will be held at the Aula Conference Center of the Delft University of Technology on 2 November, from 10:00 to 17:00 CET.

It will bring together Presidents and Fellows of the 22 academies assembled in Euro-CASE, representatives from government agencies and political institutions, academia, business, as well as non-governmental stakeholders on a European level.

During the conference participants will address the question which influence engineering, technology and innovation can and will have on the development of smart cities.

Hosted and organised by the Netherlands Academy of Technology and Innovation in collaboration with the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC’s) Climate-KIC, EIT Digital and KIC-InnoEnergy and the Delft University of Technology.

More information 
Launch of the report “An Overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe” by Fondation Abbé Pierre with FEANTSA
19 November 2015, Brussels

Fondation Abbé Pierre and FEANTSA present in partnership with la Strada (Support Centre for Brussels’ homelessness sector) the latest study on housing exclusion in Europe.

This event is part of the Week of the Brussels’ homelessness sector activities.

Online Registration– subject to seat availability
Circular economy Conference: change the system, save the planet
20 November 2015 13:00-17:00

This event brings together a unique blend of inspiring pioneers from economy, politics, academia and civil society. We aim at an interactive discussion to join up the key debates on principles of sufficiency, sharing and post-growth, post-fossil democracies. Guests, including Fairphone, will also present how the circular economy can work in practice.

Erasmushogeschool Brussel - Campus Dansaert Zespenningenstraat 70, 1000 Brussels

Read more & Register
Experts’ Workshop: Towards an energy efficient European housing stock
18 November2015, Brussels

Building stock models to assess refurbishment processes and plan future energy consumption are important to monitor progress on national and European level. This workshop will present scenario analyses conducted in 16 European countries to track the implementation of energy saving measures and their impact on consumption in practice.

Leading experts and representatives from the European Commission will discuss methods of building stock monitoring, scenario analyses of trends and perspectives of energy performance and CO2 emissions. The discussion will also highlight the necessary supporting policy actions.

Agenda of the day
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