Housing Europe Newsletter 13.02.2015
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The Greek debt issue and the Ukrainian negotiations may be hitting the frontpages of EU related news but the EU continues to generate policies and legislation that will be affecting the daily work of Housing Europe and its membership as you may see in our selection below.
In our headlines, we are happy to announce the positive EIB response to the Housing Europe contribution to the report of the Task Force on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (“Juncker Plan”). At the same time our organisation took part in a stakeholder event as part of the 8th round of TTIP negotiations. The potential impact of such a trade agreement on our sector remains unclear.

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.

Before starting to read, please allow us to give you a tip:
Go to the homepage of (ideally using any other browser than Internet Explorer) and log in by clicking on the lock on the top right side using your credentials. You will then be able to access all links that are for members only (indicated with *).

The EIB responds to Housing Europe letter- Meeting expected within Q1 2015

The European Investment Bank appreciates the proposals of Housing Europe that have been included in the report of the Task Force for the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI- known as "Juncker Plan") and is willing to meet with the representatives of the European Federation of Public, Cooperative & Social Housing to pave the way for concrete project proposals under the Juncker Plan

The content of a letter sent by the EIB Director General, Christopher Hurst to the President of Housing Europe, Marc Calon may be summarized as above. The EIB is the European Union's bank, owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States, working closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy. As the largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume, it provides finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects which contribute to furthering EU policy objectives.

You may check again the Housing Europe contribution to the special taskforce that has been shaped around “Developing an investment project pipeline in the EU”.  

Find out more about the EIB potential within the framework of the so called Juncker Plan
TTIP and Social Housing (*)

Housing Europe was invited to make a contribution at the stakeholders event as part of the 8th round of TTIP negotiations that took place in Brussels in the first week of February.

The Social Platform, the largest platform of European rights and value-based NGOs working in the social sector (Housing Europe is a member) delivered a presentation at the event, making the point that services people need (i.e. SGEIs) 'should not be TTIPed over'.

You may read an article by the Social Platform Director, Pierre Baussand that summarizes the Social Platform position.

In complementarity with the position of the Social Platform which has broad concerns of the impact of the treaty on social services and the differentiation which is made between privately and publicly funded services, Housing Europe raised some questions on the potential impact of the treaty:
  1. Housing Europe asked for clarifications regarding the scope of TTIP for publicly funded services
  2. Housing Europe underlined the potential impact of TTIP on the ability to regulate operators and activities of services of general interest (SGEIs)
  3. How can new directives and provisions about public procurement be integrated into TTIP?
  4. Housing Europe members would like some clarifications about the implementation of TTIP on the quality of construction products and services.
Italy meets Europe: Housing Europe President, Marc Calon addresses Italy’s public housing providers

One of our Italian members has gone through some changes recently, among which Luca Talluri has been appointed at its helm. To raise awareness of the impact of the EU on housing among local public housing providers, Federcasa has invited President of Housing Europe, Marc Calon to speak at a members workshop in Rome.

Marc had the chance to meet Mr.Talluri and various Federcasa members on Thursday, February 12. Today, February 13th both Marc Calon and the Research Coordinator of Housing Europe, Alice Pittini took part in the workshop 'Italy meets Europe', presenting the state of the housing policies in Europe as well as the commitment and the plans of Housing Europe for the revival of housing policies.
Housing Europe establishes Communication Network
1st workshop announced- 1st Challenge? The promotion of 'Responsible Housing'

The Housing Europe Communication Network aims at bringing together Communication Officers and representatives of our members who deal with public affairs to better coordinate the communication activities of the European Federation and of our sector as a whole. A systematic fruitful exchange between colleagues sharing common challenges will strengthen our partnership and enhance our messages.

The first meeting that will take place on March 23rd in Brussels is an opportunity to introduce everyone to the Brussels scene and brainstorm around the idea of a European campaign about the concept of Responsible Housing building upon the successful ERHIN project. The Housing Europe Board of Directors has put the Responsible Housing Campaign on top of our 2015 communication agenda.

Please find an outline of what has been done so far regarding ‘responsible housing’ and the main objectives from now on. This document provides the basis for the discussion on the day of the event that ultimately aims to draft national and EU responsible housing communication plans.
Your input counts for ESIF 2014-2020!

Committee of the Regions invites you to assess the partnership agreements (PA) and operational programmes (OP) from the viewpoint of the regional and local authorities that will use the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

By sparing about 15 minutes of your time, you may help to shape the CoR's own-initiative opinion on the outcome of the negotiations on the Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes. The rapporteur will be Ivan Žagar (SI/EPP).

You may fill in the online survey (available in all EU official languages) here

Articles & Publications
10 minutes with Thor Eek, CEO of NBBL in Norway

Every month we introduce you to one of the people leading the work of our member organisations. In this edition, we head to Norway to introduce you to the CEO of our associate member organisation NBBL, Thor Eek.

Find out more about the NBBL and its structure. Get informed about the housing policy priorities in Norway at the moment and get to know Thor, at least a bit, in person.

Read on our blog
Book: How European Cities craft Immigrant Integration

European cities are increasingly a destination for immigration and are characterized increasingly by ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious to which local governments are facing to promote integration and avoid conflicts. There are no fit all solutions...

This is the spirit that has led the Foundation for European Progressive Studies and the Foundation Italianieuropei to publish How European Cities Craft Immigrant Integration. Something to Learn by Giovanna Zincone and Irene Ponzo.

Practices and expertise developed by some European cities - from Turin to Barcelona, from Florence to Paris - in education, reservation confirmation and cultural integration of second generation immigrants are compared in order to offer ideas and suggestions for the administrations of European cities.

You may download the book as PDF here
Open Poplar: A great example of community involvement

Open Poplar is a project that aims to make the most of the space and facilities available in Poplar, East London. It is led by social landlord Poplar HARCA and a group of interested partners, non-profit organisations and landlords looking to enliven Poplar.

Open Poplar offers a diverse range of fantastically located spaces and it is open to all applicants and all types of proposals. The spaces are available for a range of time-scales, on flexible terms. There are two key criteria under which submitted ideas will be evaluated:
  1. Benefits Poplar and its people
  2. It is supported by a sustainable business plan
The overall goals of the project include creating new jobs and new services, using spaces in ways that inspire people and promoting sustainable economy

Find out more information by visiting the Open Poplar website

'Social housing providers can provide much more than housing.'- An interview with Professor Michael Oxley, Director of CCHPR at the University of Cambridge

Housing Europe joins forces with the Centre for Housing and Planning Research (CCHPR) of the University of Cambridge carrying out a study that examines what works in tackling poverty amongst young people who do not live in the parental home, with a focus on the role that housing providers can play.

We have contacted Professor Michael Oxley, Director of CCHPR and have asked him to set the scene regarding the aim of the study. Does exclusion of young people from housing indeed create a lost generation? What can be the role of housing providers in tackling youth poverty? Is this a European or a national challenge? A preliminary discussion with one of the project leaders.

Read the interview on our blog
Experiencing nearly Zero-Energy in Cooperative Ownership - Lessons learnt from the POWER HOUSE nZEC project!

Incentivising and implementing nearly Zero-Energy strategies in Divided/Cooperative ownership, particularly in multi-apartment buildings with mixed tenures, requires an adapted financial, legal and organisational framework as well as a good communication and marketing plan. 

In the framework of the POWER HOUSE nearly Zero-Energy Challenge initiative, the members of the Divided/Cooperative ownership TaskForce have recently finalised the following three documents based on the outcomes of the monitored case studies:  
  • Legal & organizational framework and Communication & marketing of nZEB in Divided and Cooperative Ownership
  • Cost-effectiveness of nZEB in Divided and Cooperative Ownership in practice
  • Financing nearly Zero-Energy projects and Renewable Energy Sources in Divided and Cooperative Ownership
Energiesprong, a solution to eradicate UK fuel poverty- A report following a Power House nearly Zero Energy Challenge study visit in the Netherlands

Together with colleagues from the National Housing Federation (UK) we have participated in several study visits in Energiesprong sites in the Netherlands within the framework of the Power House Europe project and we report.

Energiesprong (‘Energy jump’) is a new high-value construction and investment model for creating energy-neutral homes and regenerating neighbourhoods through a whole house ‘envelope’ retro-fitting package...

Read more including concrete financial figures on our website
State of NRW signs ERHIN Declaration

The European Responsible Housing Initiative (ERHIN) keeps gaining support even after the official conclusion of the project. The Housing Minister of North Rhine Westphalia, Michael Groschek will be signing on behalf of the largest German State the ERHIN European Declaration on February 24th in Brussels. The ceremony will take place in the premises of the European Representation of NRW at 15.30.

In this way, the State of NRW will be added to a long list of supporters that already includes: 
  • Margaret Burgess, Minister for Housing and Welfare, on behalf of the Scottish Government
  • City of Vienna
  • RICS- Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • EURHONET - European Housing Network
  • Union Sociale pour l’Habitat -French Social Housing Federation
  • Institut HLM de la RSE - French Institute for the Development of CSR in Social Housing
  • AEDES - Dutch social housing federation
  • Hyresgästföreningen - Swedish Union of Tenants
  • Leieboerforeningen - Norwegian Union of Tenants
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • TPAS - The Tenant Empowerment Organisation
Housing Europe joins initiative to tackle obstacles to increased use of solar power in the Public, Cooperative and Social Housing Sector  
Housing Europe, aiming at feeding into EU policy on the promotion of local renewable energy production and consumption took part on 13 February in Berlin in the kick-off meeting of the Horizon2020 ‘PV-Financing’ project.

With many European countries phasing out FITs, the simplicity of selling solar power will be gone; and without safe and fair returns, real estate and homeowners will not invest in PV anymore. In post-FIT times, solar companies and/or electric utilities in partnership with financial institutions will have to come up with new business models and financing schemes for PV investors in order to continue the success story of the FIT era.

The project is driven by the mission to successfully evolve those business and financing models, to disseminate them among stakeholders and to shape the necessary policy framework and to remove barriers that prevent those models from realization.

Consequently, the goal of PV Financing is to help stakeholders from specific application segments with the implementation of PV projects based on new PV business models while applying innovative equity and debt financing schemes. 

You may see Alessandro Cesale's presentation here
Innovative coordination of Support and Housing for People with Support Needs: Co-Production in practice at the next ELOSH project meeting
The philosophy and the concept of co-production is at the core the ELOSH project, in which Housing Europe is among the partners. The ELOSH approach is to co-produce those training modules with citizens to make them identify what services they need.

The overall aim is to transfer innovative learning outcomes and specific training material on housing and integrated support to tailored made training at local level in 7 EU member states.

The next ELOSH transpartnership meeting that will take place in Amsterdam on February 17thand 18th  will be showcasing the concept of co-production in practice. 

Stick and stay with for more information

EESC Conference: The Future of European Social Dialogue

On 24 February 2015, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will hold in Brussels a conference on the future of the European Social Dialogue.
The purpose of this conference would be to explore possibilities of strengthening and expanding EU social dialogue as a means to enhance the social dimension of the European Union. The conference would cover topics such as:
  • The role of social partners in EU economic and political governance.
  • The enabling conditions for well-functioning social dialogue, and how can the EU contribute to creating such conditions.
  • How to improve the structure and especially the content and substance of the European Social Dialogue.
  • The synergies between social and civil dialogue.
  • Amongst the participants are social partners, civil society, academia and EU institutions.
European Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing

The European Commission, together with a series of collaborating partners, is organising the European Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing on 9-10 March 2015, at The Square in Brussels.

At the heart of the event will be the role of innovation and new ways of cooperation across sectors and organisations to help Europe turn this major challenge into an opportunity for growth and jobs. Discussions will touch on the investment opportunities for supporting innovation that improves people's well-being, the sustainability of our health and care systems and the potential for established and emerging industrial sectors to benefit from the silver economy.

European Commissioners, national ministers, regional authorities and leaders from industry, including SMEs and startups, as well as civil society will take the floor and actively contribute to this debate.

The full programme of the Conference is now available
Roundtable of experts on energy efficiency and savings in buildings as part of Sustainable Social housing (SuSoh) Project

ENACE will organize an expert roundtable to help promote energy efficiency and renewable energy use in Spain and across Europe. At the event, building technicians and agents of public administrations will learn about challenges and opportunities to get finance flow into energy retrofitting of the existing building stock in order to reach the EU 2020 goals.
The event is free of charge and open to the public upon prior registration here

SuSoh is a communication project which consists of a series of training and information events focused on the EU’s 2020 climate and energy targets with regards to greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, and renewable energy sources in the social housing sector.

Thursday, 12 March 2015 15.30-19.30 at Sala Europa, Representación de la Comisión Europea en España, Paseo de la Castellana 46, 28046 Madrid
UNEP-SBCI Annual meeting and Symposium on 25-26 June in Nice, France

The United Nation’s Environment Programme’s Sustainable Building and Climate Initiative (UNEP-SBCI) is a partnership of major public and private sector stakeholders in the building sector, working to promote sustainable building policies and practices worldwide.

The UNEP-SBCI Annual meeting and Symposium is one of the leading events of the year taking place on 25-26 June in Nice, France. This year’s Symposium will take place in the framework of a series of conferences organized by ENERGIES 2050 with several international partners on the topic of 'Sustainable buildings, cities and territories to face climate change'.

ENERGIES 2050 is a French NGO which gathers more than fifty nationalities. ENERGIES 2050 works in France and internationally on the Great Transition. This includes not only the energy transition but also the shift towards a more human, plural and united society, bringing peace and respecting the common goods of humanity.

More information and the agenda will be available soon.
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