Housing Europe News 06.02.2017
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As Brussels keeps benefiting from some halcyon days lately, we have been active in many fronts, establishing new partnerships and strengthening existing ones. At the same time, we are getting ready for the various events in March that will push both our advocacy work and our skill set around energy to the next level.

The European Pillar of Social Rights, the most ambitious social contribution of the Juncker Commission acknowledges the importance of housing. We guide you through the legislative procedure following the latest European Parliament report.

We report back from the meeting the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, the conference on rural housing in Wales and from a high level visit to the Housing Europe offices. 

We also travel to Sweden to show you some inspiring best practices on the integration of refugees and to Hungary where the Ombudsman intervenes to the public debate with recommendations on housing. 

Last but not least, take a moment to get updated regarding the projects Housing Europe contributes to and other that may constitute an opportunity for your organisation and please do not forget to share with us who you would like to include in our new thematic mailing lists.
Enjoy the read!

Quick Links 

The European Pillar for Social Rights
What next after the public consultation and the European Parliament report?
All workers should have their basic rights guaranteed, whatever their form of employment and contract, said MEPs at the Plenary Session on January 19th approving their recommendations on Thursday for the forthcoming proposal on the “European Pillar of Social Rights”. What's in there for housing providers? What to expect in the next steps?
Housing Europe attends EIB civil society seminar

In a “brave new world”, we have to “up our game” stressed EIB representatives at the annual meeting with civil society representatives that takes place at the Headquarters of the Bank in Luxembourg. Representatives from a large mix of civil society organizations with many diverse interests, international and local NGOs, think tanks, research and academic institutions, among which Housing Europe Deputy Secretary General, Julien Dijol, attended the event.

The meeting aimed at making the link between the different policy objectives of the EIB and the changing needs that organisation on the ground have.

Read more
Tackling the shortage of affordable homes in Wales

If communities in the countryside are to thrive, creating and sustaining local jobs is crucial. This has been the key outcome of the conference organised by Housing Europe Welsh member, Community Housing Cymru (CHC) on the shortage of affordable housing in rural areas of Wales.

Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards has been among the speakers of the event, highlighting that “Across Wales and the rest of mainland Europe young adults are struggling to get onto the housing ladder. This is why in 2015 Housing Europe launched ‘Housing for All’ to boost the supply of affordable homes for live-able communities.”

Read more
Former Austrian Chancellor, Werner Faymann visits Housing Europe
The former Austrian Chancellor, Werner Faymann who has been appointed as United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Youth Employment visited the Housing Europe offices in the end of January. Mr. Faymann, who has extensive experience with fields related to our sector from his time as City-Councillor of Vienna for Housing and Social Housing, met Housing Europe Communications Director, Michalis Goudis and Aedes EU Public Affairs Coordinator, Sebastien Garnier.

Log in to our website to read more
UK: Brexit and beyond - reimagining the future of housing

Following the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the procedure that needs to be followed to trigger the negotiations for Brexit, the National Housing Federation (NHF) has published an updated version of their priority list for housing associations. The article works as an open invitation for collaboration in light of this new reality:

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to be bold in our vision, and to work with government to design a housing policy that works for everyone. That’s why we’re bringing together housing associations and wider industry stakeholders to reimagine the future of housing through Brexit and beyond.”

Read more
Be part of the Housing Europe thematic mailing lists (*)

As we announced at the General Assembly 2016 Housing Europe will soon be launching thematic mailing lists in an attempt to increase transparency in its work while fighting against spamming its members. 

Three thematic lists have been created:
  1. Advocacy – Stay informed on latest legislative developments & Feed directly into our lobbying activities
  2. Communications – Don’t miss out on how and what your housing communication peers across the EU are communicating and contribute to pan-EU campaigns
  3. EU Projects - Get all essential information related to EU project calls and project work
You are invited to join the one that is more relevant to your work and the one dealing with Housing Europe activities you would like to contribute to.

Register now yourselves and your colleagues to the lists you wish
Change of faces at the Housing Europe Observatory

The Observatory, the research branch of Housing Europe is about to undergo a changes in faces. Dr. Agata Krause is going to leave the Secretariat after one year to join Eurocities as Policy Adviser, while Alice Pittini returns to her position after a one-year career development break at the OECD. 

The team in Brussels warmly thanks Agata for her work over the last year and is looking forward to welcoming Alice back on March 1st. 

You may contact Agata until Wednesday, February 8th using her Housing Europe address and you will be able to reach Alice at her e-mail starting in the beginning of March.

Articles & Publications
Social Platform visit to South Sweden -
Building bridges between EU civil society and the grassroots level

A delegation of Social Platform member organisations, including our Deputy Secretary General, Julien Dijol, paid a two-day fact-finding visit to South Sweden with a focus on successful inclusion projects. The mission that took place in mid-December 2016 has been starting point to the work that Social Platform will continue in 2017, to develop our recommendations to the European Union on economic inclusion of migrants.

Annica Ryngbeck, Policy & Advocacy Adviser of Social Platform, coordinated the visit and reports:
“I believe I speak on behalf of the delegation when I say that while each individual project we visited was interesting, it was the overall experience of being close to local practitioners and migrants alike that made the strongest impression on us”.

Read her full blog post
Approaches to the labour market integration of refugees and asylum seekers

This report issued by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) expands on existing research on the labour market integration of refugees and asylum seekers as a response to the refugee crisis. It explores the role of the social partners, finding finds that the main countries affected made many efforts to provide faster and easier access to their labour markets for asylum seekers.

Read and download the study
The "moral and legal obligation of the Hungarian State for housing"

In a Press release issued in January the Hungarian Ombudsman, László Székely presented for the first time his recommendations concerning the improvement of the Hungarian housing situation. Mr. Székely highlights that both the "State and the local governments should use any disposable means and cooperate more actively with NGOs and the civil society as a whole."

Read more on our blog
Belgium: the benefits of investing in new social housing

Björn Mallants, the Director of our Belgian member, VVH and Professor Pascal De Becker of the University of Leuven argue on their latest opinion piece on Knack for the added value of new quality, affordable homes. In an article that triggered reactions in Flanders, Mallants and De Becker make the case for homes that will be well served by public transport, that will strengthen social mix and that will also be of architectural value. They conclude highlighting that only the money is already available but it can generate multiple returns, too.

The original article in Dutch

Follow this link for a Google translated English version

Getting our homes future ready: A Housing Europe Training Session
8 March, Brussels

An initiative of Housing Europe as part of the PROF/TRAC project that aims at:
  1. Identifying and promoting the skills and training needs in the field of housing retrofitting
  2. Sharing common understanding between the stakeholders of the housing renovation markets by building upon other flagship programmes
  3. Informing the policy at the EU level on the training and skills needed to achieve a fair energy transition
Read more
Study Visit

As part of the event a study visit will be held to the newly built SLRB social housing project at the passive house standard in Brussels on Rue de la Plume, 1000 (Quartier des Marolles).

Find all practical information here
Save the date for the ABRACADABRA International Workshop

The 3rd International Workshop within the framework of the ABRACADABRA project is going to take place in Brussels on March 16th. Under the topic of 'Activating a market for deep-renovation through building additions: regulatory challenges' the event is going to present a diverse mix of challenges on the ground- as they have been marked through the national meetings- as well as innovative responses to them. 

The agenda will be available soon, you may check it on the project website
Spread the word about PROF/TRAC in your language

The Horizon 2020 PROF-TRAC project is working towards an open education platform for continuous vocational training of building professionals with an inter-disciplinary focus on nZEB design and construction and a strong European dimension across 7 countries. You may now find out more and spread the word within your network in your language. The project brochures with all essential information are now available in English, Croatian, Czech, Danish French, Italian, Slovenian and Spanish.

More information

Housing Europe March 2017 meetings
Working Committees and European RETROFIT day

Housing Europe members are gathering again in Brussels in the second week of March (8-9/3/2017) for a one-day training on energy transition in public, cooperative and social housing as well as for the first Working Committee meetings of the year.

Find out more & register for both events
Enter the World Habitat Awards 2017-18!

Every year, two outstanding housing projects are selected as winners of the World Habitat Awards. Entries are now open for the 2017-18 awards. Housing Europe member, BSHF is looking for housing projects and approaches which demonstrate practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to current housing issues all around the world, viewing the term ‘habitat’ from a broad perspective and bring other benefits as well, such as energy saving, income generation, social inclusion, community and individual empowerment, education etc.

The winning projects will receive a £10,000 prize and international recognition for their achievements along with the chance to attend an award ceremony at a global UN event in 2018. All entries must be received by 1 March 2017.

Read more 
European Network for Housing Research
Annual Conference and Call for Papers
The European Network for Housing Research (ENHR) announced that its annual conference will take place 4-6 September in the Albanian capital, Tirana. More than 300 researchers will get together aiming to "redefine the public and the private sectors" under the overall theme 'Affordable Housing for All'. 

Registration and Call for Papers are now open.
Find out more
World Sustainable Energy Days 2017
1-3 March - Wels, Austria
The 2017 edition of the World Sustainable Energy Days, one of Europe’s largest annual conferences in this field, offers 8 conferences and 3 interactive events covering technologies, policies and markets. For more than 20 years, experts from all over the world have gathered in Upper Austria to attend the conference - in 2016, the event attracted over 700 participants from 57 countries. The conference makes an important contribution to awareness raising about renewable energy and energy efficiency. Housing Europe has been among the invited experts many times.

Find out more and register
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