Housing Europe News 30.05.2016
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Summer is around the corner and this means that the European Semester is also moving to its next stage. Last week the European Commission issued the 2016 Country Specific Recommendations with the housing sector being once again on the checklist. 

At the same time the mayors of the EU capitals stress in their letter to President Juncker the importance of affordable housing for European cities today and in the future. While in the Netherlands municipalities and housing providers are trying to address the rising housing demand, the World Bank seems to echo our "Housing for All" vision. 

This time follow us to France for a taste of Fabrique HLM in Lyon, a collective reflection of social housing associations on the added value of social innovation. But also "fly" with us to Sweden to meet the new CEO of SABO. 

You still have a few days time to apply to the European Responsible Housing Awards 2016. Join more than 80 organisations that have already shared their best practices with us! 

Looking forward to welcoming you to the upcoming Working Committee meetings in Brussels or to one of our events in June.

Enjoy the read!

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New set of EU recommendations on housing policies
The 2016 CSRs are out

The coordination of economic policies at the EU level, also known as European Semester, has gone through one of its most important milestones: the publication of the Country recommendations. After the publication of the country reports in April, the European Commission has now published its recommendations to the member states on how to address their main challenges. 

As every year, a number of countries get some comments on their housing markets, since the European Commission looks at housing market trends as one of the areas determining potential instability.

Beyond the traditional call to liberalize the rent system in Sweden, to further align rents with incomes in the Netherlands or to loosen the planning rules in the UK to increase the supply of housing, there are new comments for instance for France about overall cost of housing policies- higher than in other EU member states- compared to its results.

What are cost effective housing policies?
Apply now for the European Responsible Housing Awards 2016!

Jointly organised by Housing Europe, Delphis and the International Union of Tenants, the competition showcases innovative best practices and promotes exchange of knowledge between local housing providers who promote local, social and environmental sustainability, good governance and responsible HR management.

NEW DEADLINE for applications: June 1st 2016

Find out more all you need to know about the awards on this BUILD UP article

Terms and conditions are now available in Dutch, Swedish and French

Apply now!
EU mayors address President Juncker stressing the key role of housing
At the 5th Direct Dialogue between the mayors of the EU capital cities and the European Commission 26 capital cities attended the conference with Commissioner Creţu (Regional and Urban Policy). As we had reported in one of the previous newsletter editions in the Declaration they adopted during the meeting, the heads of the biggest EU capitals clearly acknowledge the role and the potential of public, cooperative and social housing providers.

A few weeks ago the mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, shared within the framework of the Dutch Presidency the Declaration with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. In the accompanying letter Mr van der Laan highlights that “It was evident during our fruitful conference that the main societal challenges that Europe is facing are very much urban […] the current refugee crisis, the prevention of radicalization, the growing need for affordable housing and air quality/ urban mobility.”

Download the letter and the Mayors’ Declaration
The World Bank echoes our “Housing for All” vision

The latest infographic published by the Housing Finance Unit of the World Bank reflects the key message of our “Housing for All” campaign, adding up to the momentum of this universal request.

“Providing people with access to decent and affordable housing is one of the targets under the Sustainable Development Goal 11, which focuses on making cities sustainable.  Addressing this challenge requires large-scale investment in housing production. Governments alone cannot meet this burden, so private sector funds need to be channelled into housing investment”, comments the introductory text.

Check out the infographic
Netherlands: More homes due to the flow of refugees
The high demand for social housing for refugees requires creative solutions. Municipalities - responsible for housing licensees - work together with housing associations and other stakeholders.
Our Dutch member, Aedes put together (in NL) an overview the action plans of some of the housing associations involved.

Here is a summary (in English) on our website
Sweden: Anders Nordstrand is the new CEO of SABO
The Swedish Association of Public Housing Companies recruits new leader. Who is the successor of Kurt Eliasson? When will he actually take over? All key information for the new era at SABO as well as a brief outline of Anders Nordstrand's priorities.

Read more

Articles & Publications
New perspectives for Social housing
Fabrique HLM in France showcases the added value of social innovation

Through an original and collaborative format, the city of Lyon-Villeurbanne, hosted around 2.000 social housing actors for its "proximity Fablab" event that took place on 24 and 25 May. Social Innovation was the keyword of the event; innovation that will be driven by the ambition to revolutionize the notion of service in the social housing sector.

With the aim of stimulating new responses to the various societal challenges, the event has been a chance to exchange ideas and to develop collectively tools for tomorrow.

Read more on our blog
Temperatures rise following introduction of individual metering and billing for heating: The case of Sweden
The EU Energy Efficiency Directive imposes a requirement for apartments to have individual metering and billing for heating when this is cost-effective. A new report from our Swedish member, SABO concludes that individual metering and billing is neither profitable nor reduces energy use.

Check out the full analysis on our blog
CEB Briefing note: "Europe's refugee crisis- From emergency response to longer-term integration"

“Management of the refugee crisis is one of the main challenges facing Europe and its society today, not only because of the magnitude and pace of the crisis itself but also on account of the complexity of its social, political and economic implications. It is first and foremost a humanitarian crisis on a global scale, but at the same time it is specifically a crisis of policy that caught the European Union unprepared.”

This briefing note by the Council of Europe Development Bank describes the scale and complexity of the current refugee crisis. It also assesses the immediate humanitarian and longer-term integration needs in transit and destination countries in Europe and their implications for the CEB’s role in response to these challenges both now and in the future.

Read it in PDF

The path to Transition Zero is now clear!

How to increase the transformation of the building stock while at the same time maintaining affordability for the residents? That is the key question, Housing Europe members have been trying to answer over the past years in their daily activities. Part of the answer is now provided by the Transition Zero Project whose kick off meeting took place in Groningen on 21st April.

Building upon the Energiesprong experience, Transition Zero will be unfolding over the next three years. We have drafted a summary of all key facts and milestones you should know.

Read more
Energiesprong praised in France

The adaptation of Energiesprong in France, thanks to Greenflex, attracted the attention of the leading French newspaper “Le Monde” and was awarded last week its “Smart cities prize, energy category” among 200 projects from all over the world.

In the article dedicated to the laureates it’s highlighted that “The start-up of 180 employees supports companies in their environmental and energy transition.”

Read the article (in French)

Housing Europe Working Committee meetings
13-14 June, Brussels

The next meetings of the Housing Europe Working Committees will be taking place in Brussels on Monday, 13 June and Tuesday, June 14th. Due to some changes related to the joint side-event with the EIB, the final schedule is the following:

Monday, 13 June
14:00-15:30 Housing Europe Observatory
16:00-17:30 Social affairs

Tuesday, 14 June
9:00-10:30 Energy, Construction & Standardisation
11:00-12:30 Urban Affairs
14:00-17:00 Seminar - EU invests in Social Housing: EIB loans in practice

Download the full agenda & register to attend
EU invests in Social Housing: EIB loans in practice
Half-day seminar - 14 June, Brussels

The European Investment Bank is scaling up its support for housing. At a recent meeting at the Bank's HQ in Luxembourg, the EIB Secretary General informed the chair of our Economics, Finance and Internal Market Committee of their interest in doing even more.
The seminar will be a chance to hear directly from representatives of the EIB, to get more details about approved loans but also to present initiatives in need of financing and get feedback. The session will take place at the scheduled time of the Economics, Finance and Internal Market Committee meeting.

Check out the agenda and register online
Housing and Health: opportunities and challenges in a time of welfare changes
Building the future of Health - 3 June, Groningen, Netherlands

Housing Europe organises within the framework of the "Building the Future of Health" conference a side-event on the issue of "Housing and Health: opportunities and challenges in a time of welfare changes".

More information
Cost effective Housing Policies in the European Union
Final event of the PROGRESS program - June 20, Brussels

The two-day (20 & 21 June) conference in Brussels will lead the project to a conclusion. The action is a close cooperation between the Flemish government, academics and stakeholders, each having their own responsibilities concerning the preparation of housing policy.

The first day, held at the Committee of the Regions, is targeted towards an international audience of academics and stakeholders, while the second day, at the Flemish Parliament, is mainly targeted towards a Flemish public. Housing Europe is responsible for the preparation of the international conference on June 20th.

Check out the draft agenda
Smart consumers and smart buildings: A BPIE event within the framework of EUSEW 2016
15 June, Brussels

As part of a multi-stakeholder approach, a wide range of actors will gather to reassess the role that buildings could play in the new decentralised, renewable, interconnected and variable energy system. A special focus will be given to key trends driving the change, the appropriate innovative solutions and the enabling measures needed to unlock this transition to smart buildings.

Find out more 
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