Housing Europe Newsletter 13.02.2015
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You may have wondered why this newsletter edition did not reach you, as scheduled, on Monday May 4th. There is a good explanation for this small change; the big news would be happening on Tuesday, so we thought of postponing for a few days to share with you... 

On Tuesday, Housing Europe presented on the premises of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) “The State of Housing in the EU 2015” report. The key findings of our Observatory triggered a dynamic debate with MEPs, European Commission representatives, researchers and many housing stakeholders. If you didn’t manage to your copy in Brussels, we invite you to read the publication online.

At political level, we are happy to see that the affordable housing sector was not excluded after all from the European Parliament legislative report on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Housing Europe thanks to the involvement of its members created the alliances needed to change the initial draft report. 

Get more information on the most important news of the last couple of weeks, access our list of articles and publications

Stay tuned with the latest developments regarding the European Projects and initiatives Housing Europe is taking part in promoting exchange on tackling energy poverty with new refurbishment solutions and local solar energy production in social housing, innovative approaches to combining housing and social support and housing centred ways to address youth poverty.

You can also check out our listing of events you may be interested to attend.

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Housing Europe presents "The State of Housing in the EU 2015" Report

Housing Europe presented on Tuesday, May 5th 2015 at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) its latest Observatory report that reflects the state of the housing sector in the continent. The report reflects the state of the housing sector in the continent through:
  • Detailed statistics per member state
  • The latest housing trends in a cross-country observation
  • A compilation of the most significant policy updates since 2012
  • Case studies that feature energy efficiency, social integration, innovation in public policy and governance
  • Analysis of the interaction of housing policies and EU policies
You may read the full report and download its key findings on our website
The presentation of the latter by our Research Coordinator, Alice Pittini triggered a dynamic debate between MEPs, European Commission representatives, researchers and other housing stakeholders who attended the official launch event.

You may read a Storify report of this exchange
Social housing not excluded from the Juncker Plan!
European Parliament report includes important amendments (*)

Following the Housing Europe reaction, the European Parliament regulatory report of the Juncker Plan was amended to make the building sector eligible for investments.

Housing Europe had warned back in March that latest European Parliament proposal on the regulation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments aimed to limit the scope of the Juncker Plan to “high risk” investments.

Read more on our website
Positive development in challenged housing areas saves society billions- Encouraging figures from the Danish SKANDIA model

The latest figures from the “SKANDIA-model” show that society saves DKK 15 million per young person who moves from a “career” on the periphery of society to establishing permanent labour market ties.

A key purpose of the comprehensive physical and social housing plans in Denmark’s most challenged social housing areas  is to reduce the impact of social inheritance, whereby children of (the many) parents living on public benefits themselves end up on public benefits. Physical renovation plans can contribute to friendlier and more secure neighbourhoods that attract more resourceful families to the housing area. This results in a broader social mix of tenants living in the housing area itself – but it also positively affects the mix in the local day care institutions and schools, which in turn benefits the most socially challenged children.

Read Frans Clemmesen’s full article on our blog

Articles & Publications
Housing for All- Housing Europe supports the EU Day of Solidarity between Generations
Housing Europe participates, celebrates and supports the EU Day of Solidarity between Generations. We have interviewed two experts among our membership who shed light to the co-relation between housing and ageing issues.

Muriel Boulmier, former Chair of Housing Europe Working Group on Housing and Ageing, CEO of Housing Company Ciliopee and Dagmar Reiß-Fechter, former chair of Housing Europe Section of private not-for-profit housing sector have illustrated extensive experience and expertise on ageing-related issues, focusing particularly on the role of housing. Both of them led the Housing Europe contribution to the European Year on Active Ageing and Solidarity 2012, including their keynote presentations at our conference on "Ageing and Affordable Housing" that took place in Brussels in November 2012.

Less than three years after the above mentioned milestone and on the occasion of the EU Day of Solidarity between Generations Housing Europe has asked both Mrs. Boulmier and Mrs. Reiß-Fechter to share their views on where EU stands regarding the state of the EU ageing policy. Were enough steps taken since 2012? What still needs to be done? Is there a shift of the public opinion? What are the main elements of independent living in our days?

Read both interviews on our blog
URBACT: “Sustainable regeneration in urban areas”- An Interview with Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards

Within the framework of its capitalisation activities for 2014-2015, URBACT has set up four working groups (workstreams) to give answers on what can cities do about specific urban challenges, identifying the following four topics corresponding to their urban challenges:
  • New Urban Economies
  • Job Generation
  • Social Innovation in Cities
  • Sustainable Regeneration in Urban Areas
As part of the last workstream URBACT has just recently circulated a publication on the sustainable regeneration of cities. The publication includes an interview with Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards, focusing on the topic of energy efficient housing renovation and sustainable urban regeneration: looking for synergies.

You may read Sorcha’s interview on page 28 and you may access the full publication online here

POWER HOUSE nearly Zero Energy Challenge concludes with new video and final report

The flagship European Project of Housing Europe is about to come to an end. But the nearly Zero Energy Challenge remains for housing associations. Bringing about change within any sector is a challenge; transforming energy use in Europe’s homes to adapt to new energy landscape is a particularly complex one.
As Member States are still working on new definitions and framework to promote nearly-Zero Energy Buildings, Housing Europe in close collaboration with the National Housing Federation have produced a video that invites housing association across the Union to make the most out of the POWER HOUSE nearly Zero Energy Challenge learning outcomes.

You may watch the video on our YouTube channel

Stay tuned for the POWER HOUSE nearly Zero Energy Challenge final report that will be available in the beginning of June 

Save the date for the next Working Committee Meetings on June 8-9 

As the next Working Committee Meetings in Brussels are approaching, we invite you to book your flight and accomodation in Brussels. The meetings will take place on June 8, starting in the afternoon, and 9.

Register now for the General Assembly 2015!

As you already know the next Housing Europe General Assembly will take place in Lisbon on 1-2 July 2015. To ensure the smooth running of the biggest event of the yearwe invite you to register as soon as possible following the detailed guidelines contained in this e-mail. 
Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Building-Integrated Photovoltaics: Where Sustainability meets Aesthetics

Buildings are our homes and, for many of us, the places where we work. Europe’s building stock is old and much of it inefficient. As it is replaced or renovated, opportunities arise to incorporate energy-saving techniques and energy-generating technologies in ways that look attractive while affording a comfortable, high-quality indoor environment. New buildings have an even greater potential for minimal energy demand and maximal self-sufficiency in energy supply. Even “nearly zero-energy buildings” are being built.

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) combine elegance and electricity supply. How may BIPV uptake be increased?

Info: 8 July 2015, London, UK
More information about the programme and online registration
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