Housing Europe News 21.11.2016
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As the big Christmas tree- a gift by the Slovak Presidency of the EU this year- is being installed at the Grand Place in Brussels we are getting ready at Square de Meeus for one of the most interesting weeks of the year. Our members will be coming to Brussels for the last Working Committee meetings of the year and the agenda is full, including the welcome to our member and partner.

On Wednesday, 23 November social housing providers from across Europe will be heading to the European Committee of the Regions for the European Responsible Housing Award Ceremony; an inspiring celebration of the innovative practices housing associations develop as a response to the multiple housing challenges of our times. Stay tuned for the Handbook that will give you an overview of the projects that made it to final.

The European Commission has published is Work Programme for 2017 and we have done the Analysis for you, while in the next issue we will be looking into the Annual Growth Survey. 

Our trip in Europe this week brings us to Delft for the meeting of our President, Marc Calon with leading housing academics from the ENHR, to Lisbon for a success EU funding story and to Cambridge for a research report worth reading on the role of housing providers in tackling youth poverty. 

Make sure you have a look at the Energy Poverty Handbok we have contributed to as well as to the 'Projects' section for some updates of interest. 

Enjoy the read! 

Quick Links 


20 innovative responses to the housing challenges of our times
Meet the finalists of the 2nd European Responsible Housing Awards 
The second edition of the European Responsible Housing Awards concludes with the Ceremony that will present the housing providers across Europe that make the difference in their communities. On November 23rd, the European Committee of the Regions will open its doors to host the 20 finalists of the second edition of the European Responsible Housing Awards.

We invite you to meet the finalists and find out more about their projects that illustrate how responsible housing may indeed be the response to the housing challenges of our times. 

The competition that is jointly organised by Housing Europe, Delphis and the International Union of Tenants (IUT) shares the innovative responses of affordable housing providers to the local, social and environmental challenges of our times. 4 Awards will be handed during the ceremony to the winners of each category that corresponds to the core elements of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):
  • Local Social Sustainability
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Good governance and fair relations with stakeholders
  • Responsible human resources management
European Commission Work Programme 2017: What to expect (*)

The European Commission has published its Work Programme for next year, 2017. What are the relevant points for the housing sector? What to expect in terms or legislative and other initiatives? What are the key dates?

If you are a Housing Europe member, check out our analysis
Housing Affordability: All studies show it is needed but a simple obvious fact is preventing action…

Housing Europe & Aedes President, Marc Calon addressed some of Europe’s most active academics in the field of Housing from the European Network of Housing Research (ENHR) on factors affecting Housing Affordability at a meeting held at TU Delft.

Marc spoke one of the less talked-about reasons behind the lack of effective policies to address housing (un)affordability i.e. the simple obvious fact that no home owners or private landlords are happy when the value of their home is dropping. He also cited a lack of understanding among policy makers about the imperfect nature of housing markets which means they do not obey simple market rules of supply and demand.

Read more
The challenge of social housing retrofitting in Brussels region - Housing Europe and SLRB at the forefront
On 9 November, the Brussels Region Social Housing Agency (SLRB-BGHM) in cooperation with Housing Europe, organised a workshop about the renovation of social housing with the key question how to improve and speed up the renovation of social homes in Brussels.

SLRB and the Brussels government have invested 75mio € in 2015 to renovate about 9,000 dwellings. But more needs to be done to achieve deeper renovations to maintain comfort, well-being and affordability and contribute to the integrated development of Brussels Region.

Read more
Portugal: A 250 million € EIB loan helps Lisbon to become the first EU municipality to receive direct support from EFSI

Thanks to the new approach of the mayor Fernando Medina, which aims to “change the way people live in the city”, the city of Lisbon developed an Urban Renewal Strategy. This Plan focuses on different elements, one of them is Social housing.

The Plan includes operations to cope with climate change, infrastructure supporting entrepreneurship, innovation, and the digital economy, supporting Healthcare and Innovative urban mobility. Finally, there is strong element of social inclusion to help migrants, as well as vulnerable local residents.  That’s one important reason why the European Investment Bank supported it with a 30-year EUR 250 million loan.

Find out more
Solidarity Cities

Solidarity Cities is an initiative on the management of the refugee crisis proposed by the Mayor of Athens and launched in the framework of the EUROCITIES network. It aims to constitute the framework under which all cities actions and initiatives are presented highlighting the political leadership of cities in addressing this challenge.

The network is open to all European cities wishing to work closely with each other and committed to solidarity in the field of refugee reception and integration.

Find out more

Articles & Publications
Energy Poverty Handbook: Housing Europe contributes to a much needed tool for an alarming issue

As a follow-up to the European Parliament Initiative Report on the antipoverty target in the light of increasing household costs, MEP Tamas Meszerics (Greens, Hungary) initiated the production of a Handbook on Energy Poverty. 

Housing Europe was invited to contribute to the Handbook with a focus on the financial aspect of energy poverty. The article by Edit Lakatos covers one of the chapters aiming to increase the understanding of the current financial support mechanisms at EU level to tackle energy poverty.

Find out more
The European Construction Sector Observatory (ECSO)

The European Construction Sector Observatory has been set up to inform European policymakers and industry stakeholders on the market conditions and policy developments in the construction sector in the 28 EU Member States, through regular analysis and comparative assessments.

The ECSO website provides access to a wide range of industry data and analysis, from evidence on how Member States are performing in relation to the five thematic objectives of Construction 2020 Strategy, to insights on national policy developments, trends and experiences.

Read more

The role of housing and housing providers in tackling poverty experienced by young people in the UK: New evidence from housing providers
This paper presents the findings from the exploratory strand of the work which explored emerging or innovative practice in tackling poverty experienced by young people. Ten case study projects, run by housing providers, were studied over an 18-month period offering a variety of approaches to tackling poverty. Housing Europe was among the partners of this research project.

Check out the report by the University of Cambridge Center for Housing & Planning Research
How to encourage investment in solar energy
PV Financing European Implementation Guidelines are published

Within the PV Financing project, Housing Europe has contributed to highlight the specific nature and potential of the sector as beneficiary of the investment in solar energy. European guidelines to help investors, public authorities and housing providers to develop a business case have just recently been published.

Social housing providers are ideally placed to invest in solar energy. The two main drivers for the use of photovoltaic panels within the social housing sector are:

Read more
Our Community on BUILD UP

BUILD UP is a web portal, intended to reap the benefits of Europe's collective intelligence on energy reduction in buildings through exchange of best practices, knowledge, tools & resources. Housing Europe is one of the expert contributors to the portal and is feeding it with news from its network.

We invite you to bookmark our ‘Sustainable Public, Cooperative and Social Housing’ Community on BUILD UP to get a selection of relevant articles to the wide Public, Cooperative and Social Housing sector.

More information

EIB Stakeholder Engagement Workshop
9 December 2016, Brussels
On the International Anti-Corruption Day, this seminar aims at providing stakeholders with an opportunity to learn about and discuss the advantages, features and suitability of innovative approaches based on transparency and stakeholder engagement.

Experts from the European Investment Bank (EIB), representatives from Transparency International and the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) and business representatives will share their expertise and experience in an interactive format.

Find out more and register
Training session: State Aid for Structural Funds & Financial Instruments
28-29 November, Brussels
Investments from European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) have to comply with EU State aid regulations. The accurate incorporation of aid exemptions will facilitate the implementation of the Operational Programmes (Ops) and improves the absorption of ESI Funds.

Meet the experts in State aid law and specialists in EU funding from the European Commission and Member States. Discuss how to identify State aid in your programmes and projects and more…

Check out the agenda and register
Workshop: ‘Performance of thermal insulation in low energy buildings and advanced building renovation projects’
15 December, Brussels

The 3rd QUALICHeCK International Workshop, titled "Performance of thermal insulation in low energy buildings and advanced building renovation projects" will focus on securing the compliance of product data and the quality of installed systems to reach high levels of energy performance. Topics to be covered include:
  • how to improve the quality of the installation works;
  • how to provide compliant input data used to issue an Energy Performance Certificate;
  • how to enforce compliance, and how to define and apply penalties in case of non-compliance.
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