Housing Europe News 20.03.2017
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March has been clearly a month dedicated to energy in Brussels. The new legislation and best practices that can push households, cities, regions and countries a step closer to a fair energy transition were part of the everyday agenda in the European capital. In case you missed our workshop on the skills and innovative solutions you can now have a look at our report while getting ready for the upcoming event on March 22nd

Quite a few stops are included in our European tour this week. A wide, diverse alliance of stakeholders, led by USH, signed a declaration of support to social housing ahead of the upcoming elections, while Dutch housing associations will have a second chance in court to prove their point concerning the so called "Dutch Case". In Switzerland, a cooperative has been showcasing how this sector can provide more than housing, winning one of the World Habitat Awards.

Check out the new tools we have put in place that can help you and your members make more efficient use of funding opportunities. Take a moment to get updated regarding the projects Housing Europe contributes to and others that may constitute an opportunity for your organisation.

Let us introduce you to the Knight of the Housing Europe Board and join us in watching a 3D printer building an entire house in 24 hours. Is this the future or just a "magic trick"?

Last but not least, don't forget to save the date for the upcoming events.

Enjoy the read!

Quick Links 

Getting our homes future ready
Essential skills and innovative solutions for a fair energy transition

Achieving a clean energy transition in the housing sector is a hard nut to crack. Any viable strategy must aim to scale-up approaches that have already been tried and tested and not rely on targets alone. How can energy renovations become financially attractive? Why does the energy transition start at home and relies on every single tenant? How can housing providers and other building professionals escape the procurement labyrinth? How can the revised EU energy legislation deliver on skills and innovation?

The workshop organized by Housing Europe as part of the PROF/TRAC project addressed in particular lessons learned on the questions above echoing the overall mood for a little less regulation, a little more production please…
Dutch Housing Associations will have a second chance in court

On March 15th, the European Court of Justice asked the General Court to examine the essence of the arguments of the Dutch Housing Associations who have been seeking for 7 years to annul a decision of the European Commission which paved the way for the introduction of an income ceiling in the Dutch social housing. “Therefore, incumbent on the General Court to examine the substance of the appellants’ arguments”.

What does this ruling mean and why is it important for many social housing organisations in Europe?

Read more on our website
Making use of the European Plan for Strategic Investment | A Housing Europe Info Toolkit for the "Juncker Plan" (*)
The housing sector is one of the EIB target areas and between 2011 and 2015, around €6 billion has been granted in loans for the development of social housing by the EIB. Affordable housing providers are already benefitting from the EFSI support. How can you make the best use of it? The Toolkit below aims at providing you with all essential information and at guiding you through the steps you need to take.

Log in on our website to find out more
Tenants’ access to solar self-consumption

The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) and the International Union of Tenants (IUT) have released their policy recommendations on strengthening the social dimension of the Energy Union. Four out of five Europeans live in a region where producing solar electricity on the rooftop of the building they are living in is cheaper than buying electricity on the market. Consumers could cut their energy bills by generating their own solar electricity. However, the policy currently focusing only on homeowners excludes around 150 million Europeans living as tenants.
What should be improved in future legislation? Through the assessment of 4 tenant models, the paper concludes that “EU legislation needs to secure a dedicated framework, a ‘bike lane’ for these new cyclists of energy markets”.

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France: “Yes to Social Housing”
54 partners have put their voices together to express their support to social housing in France 40 days ahead of the Presidential Elections. During the National Day held by the Housing Europe French member, Union Sociale pour l’ Habitat (USH) on March 14th at the National Library François Mitterrand a wide range of diverse stakeholders, directly or indirectly linked with the social housing sector, including tenants’ associations, have signed the declaration that is the highlight of the campaign that was launched under the same name “Yes to Social Housing” on January 18th.
"Over this electoral campaign, it must be asserted in an even stronger way that social housing is an opportunity for French society, and that our model (HLM), this societal choice is a collective choice and, in one word, an asset for France, its inhabitants and its regions", said the President of USH, Jean-Louis Dumont.
Read more in French
More than Housing: Swiss Housing Cooperative wins one of the World Habitat Awards

Based in Zurich, ‘More than Housing’ is a large housing cooperative development that seeks to anticipate the future needs of its community and design buildings and ways of living that meet them. A member of the Housing Europe Swiss member organization ‘Mehr als Wohnen’ (its original German name) runs one of the largest and most ambitious cooperative housing programmes in Europe, resulting from a collaboration between 50 different cooperatives.

Thirteen buildings with nearly 400 housing units, 35 retail units and large shared community spaces and neighbourhood infrastructure (kindergarten, day care centres, etc.) provide environmentally-friendly homes for people from a wide range of backgrounds and income levels. The project promotes social diversity throughout, from the architectural design to the allocation of tenancies.

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CEB lends € 80 million to Portugal for urban regeneration

The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) will be supporting via a € 80 million loan agreement urban renewal and environmental protection in Portugal. The programme aims to create jobs and attract younger population to declining urban centres as well as to address poverty and exclusion in disadvantaged urban peripheries. Loans granted under the CEB’s EU Co-financing Facility facilitate better absorption of EU funds in the CEB’s member countries, helping countries, regions and municipalities address social investment needs, including social housing, advance economic development, and reduce regional imbalances.

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Housing Europe Board Member Cédric Van Styvendael becomes Knight of the National Order of Merit

The Director of Est Métropole Habitat (EMH), a member of the Housing Europe French member, USH, received his medal at a ceremony that took place in Villeaurbanne, Lyon on March 6th. Jean-Paul Bret, mayor of Villeurbanne and President of EMH, stated that Cédric contributed in turning the organization to a point of reference concerning social innovation, while the French Housing Minister, Emmanuelle Cosse highlighted his level of commitment and his innovative know-how. French citizens as well as foreign nationals, men and women, can be received into the order for distinguished military or civil achievements.

Read more in French

Articles & Publications
The new State Housing Plan in Spain - CONCOVI files 12 proposals to the public consultation
The Spanish Ministry of Development is currently drafting the State Housing Plan for the period 2018-2021. The Spanish Confederation of Housing Cooperatives (CONCOVI), a Housing Europe member and  one of the bodies that has a say in shaping national housing policies, has outlined 12 proposals in response to the public consultation.

Read more on our blog
Video: Mobile 3D printer can build an entire house in just 24 hours

This is the first residential house 3D-printed onsite with a mobile printer. It only took 24 hours and costs $10,134. The company, Apis Cor, hopes that this can provide an alternative to traditional construction methods and create affordable housing.

Watch the video

Explore the PV Financing Web Library!

The PV FINANCING project aims at defining and developing new business and financing models for photovoltaics installations, to disseminate them among stakeholders, to shape the necessary policy framework for their application and to remove barriers that prevent those models from realization.

You may now check out all webinars and workshops held within the framework, both at national and international level, of the project online.

Find out more
Building Together passive houses in Europe

BuildTog (Building Together) is a European Passive House project initiated by four partners who are engaged in sustainable construction: The European housing companies network EURHONET, the French architect Nicolas Michelin (A/NM/A), the German energy consultancy LUWOGE consult and the worldwide leading chemical company BASF. The target of BuildTog is to develop a generation of Passive Houses that are in the same time energy and economy efficient and also architectural ambitious.

Find out more about the BuildTog project

Energy Savings Summit: Europe's people at the heart of the energy transition
2 May 2017, 14.00-18.00 | Residence Palace, Brussels

The third annual Energy Savings Summit organised by The Coalition for Energy Savings, a partner of Housing Europe, will gather EU decision-makers and stakeholders for an event dedicated to energy efficiency policies. Miguel Arias Cañete, the Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, will hold a keynote speech.

This year the Summit will focus on the successful delivery of a Clean Energy for All Europeans Package that maximises the multiple benefits of energy savings. The event provides a platform for key legislators and stakeholders to exchange in order to achieve an Energy Union, which is built on ambitious and credible energy efficiency policies.

For further information and the most up-to-date draft program visit their website
International Conference on legal aspects of housing
27-28 April, Tarragona, Spain

All legal aspects related to housing will be in the core of this international conference, for the first time organized by the UNESCO Housing Chair of University Rovira i Virgili and the Housing Rights Watch network of FEANTSA. The event will gather together a network of more than 40 Spanish researchers that have been working to study how to reform housing tenures to make access to housing more affordable, stable and flexible for households in a project called “Reforming housing tenures: the access to housing through tenancies, homeownership and their taxation”; and the Housing Rights Watch network of FEANTSA, a European interdisciplinary group of associations, lawyers and academics from different countries, who are committed to promoting the right to housing for all.

Find out 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
How can re-use in urban areas be better encouraged?
29 March, 17.30-19.00, London

Groundwork London invites you to an event for housing and waste management professionals, re-use organisations and policy makers, as part of our EU LIFE+ Programme funded project Repurpose. Professor Margaret Bates (President of CIWM), Julie Hill (Chair at WRAP), and Sharon Schaaf (Head of Estate Services at Hammersmith & Fulham Council) will discuss:
  • The benefits and importance of re-use
  • How to engage and support communities and other stakeholders
  • The potential for greater re-use in housing estates and wider urban areas
  • How to encourage and support re-use at the regional, national and EU level
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