Housing Europe News 07.11.2016
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The daylight is getting reduced day by day but somehow days seems to be longer in Brussels. It’s the time of the year that the EU capital is working at full speed as the European Commission has already announced its work programme for 2017. We will be delivering an analysis of it in our next issue. We are also counting down to welcoming all Housing Europe members in Brussels for the upcoming Working Committee meetings and for the European Responsible Awards Ceremony; make sure that you have all essential info and that you have registered for the ones you would like to attend

In the meantime, far away from Brussels in Quito, Ecuador the Habitat III Conference has shaped the Urban Agenda for the next 20 years. We were there and you may read our key messages and contributions.

Housing Europe has been in high demand with our Secretary General invited to present our views at the EURHONET General Assembly, at the Scottish Rural and Island Housing Associations Conference as well as at the sectoral meeting of the International Union of Tenants. Read our reports from all events as well as a summary of key developments in Germany, the Netherlands and wherever Responsible Housing has a pulse.

Our "10' with" blog column is back to welcome the Director of our newest member, VVH. Browse through our ‘articles and publications’ section where this week the focus point is finance.

In the ‘Projects’ section see the latest updates from the European initiatives we are involved in as well as potential opportunities within Horizon 2020 calls. We have also received a very interesting call for partners from the Municipality of Barcelona, have a look at this great opportunity.

Enjoy the read! 

Quick Links 

Affordable and Adequate Housing:
Policies in support of the Sustainable Development Goalss
Housing Europe at Habitat III

Housing Europe had its own voice at Habitat III, the global conference that shaped the New Urban Agenda for the next 20 years. The Chair of the Urban Affairs Committee, Özgür Öner as well as the Chair of the Social Affairs Committee, João Carvalhosa represented the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing in Quito. On the first day of the Habitat III Housing Europe co-organised a networking event dedicated on the way national and international housing policies can support the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On day 2 of Habitat III the German Federal Ministry For Environment, Nature Conservation, Building And Nuclear Safety organised an international conference dedicated to the importance of tenure security. The event was chaired by the Housing Europe Urban Affairs Committee Chair, Dr. Özgür Öner who had the chance to also present the work of Housing Europe on these issues, stressing that tenancy law is affecting the daily lives of European citizens with about one third of them depending on rental housing.

Read the reports from both events here and here

Read again the Habitat III position paper of Housing Europe 
Structural Funds allocated to housing

In the new database released by the European Commission one can see that in total 7 billion € have been allocated to housing, 5.5 of which will go for energy efficiency measures and the smaller part for other priorities. A Housing Europe analysis offering an overview of the key figures, identifying the most important challenges for the future.

Read more
Closer to tenants: Housing Europe present at the International Union of Tenants’ Conference
Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards was among the speakers of the International Union of Tenants’ (IUT) Conference that took place in Glasgow on October 14th, delivering the message that housing associations have in fact more in common with tenants than issues that bring them apart.
Read more
Housing Europe at the Scottish Rural and Islands Housing Conference 2016

With the Scottish Government committing to building 50,000 affordable homes over the lifetime of the current parliament, the Scottish Rural and Islands Housing Conference 2016, run by the Rural and Islands Housing Associations Forum (RIHAF), discussed how Scotland’s rural and island communities can ensure that a fair share of the homes are built in their areas and much more. Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards has been the keynote international speaker at the event.

Read more
EURHONET meets the challenges - Housing Europe contributes to the social integration debate

EURHONET, a network of 32 public and social housing companies from France, Germany, Italy Sweden and the UK and a close partner of Housing Europe held its annual General Assembly in Potsdam in the end of October. The two-day meeting focused on the various challenges housing associations across Europe are facing. Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards shared our views and the extensive experience of our member organisations regarding the Social integration challenges.

Read more
Committee of the Regions publishes opinion on State Aid & SGEI

During its 119th plenary session held in Brussels on October 10th, 11th and 12th the Committee of the Regions (CoR) published its opinion on ‘State Aid and Services of General Economic Interest’. We highlight the key points that are relevant to housing.

Read more on our website
Become an Urban Innovative Actions Expert!
The Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) team is looking for 18 motivated professionals with a good overview of sustainable urban development in the EU.

Housing Europe Members who have experience in supporting urban authorities in implementing bold and innovative solutions are free to apply here.
50 signatories for the Responsible Housing Code of Conduct

The Northern Irish Housing Association, Helm Housing, a member of the Housing Europe member organisation, NIFHA is the latest addition to the list of now 50 signatories of the European Responsible Housing Code of Conduct.

Are you a public, cooperative or not-for-profit housing provider? Do you have a Corporate Social Responsibility strategy in place or are you thinking of setting up one? The Responsible Housing CSR Code of Conduct can help you showing your commitments and present your organization as a frontrunner at European level.

Find out more and support responsible housing
World Habitat Awards 2016-17 finalists announced

Over 100 inspiring housing projects from around the world entered the 2016-17 World Habitat Awards which are organised by the Housing Europe member, BSHF that has just revealed the 12 finalists. This year’s projects span across the globe from the USA to Sri Lanka. They showcase a variety of housing solutions including post-disaster, community-led approaches, homes for marginalised or vulnerable groups and developing local skills for income generation.

Check out the finalists
Germany: the CEB invests in affordable housing

The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) is working with the Federal State of Hesse to increase the social housing stock for the benefit of vulnerable groups, including migrants. The CEB’s € 230 million loan will support rented social housing investments in Hesse aimed at providing appropriate dwellings for low-income persons. It will fund the construction, renovation, refurbishing and conversion of buildings and related infrastructure for rented social housing.

Read more
The Netherlands: The value of housing related data

What is the added value of the Local Housing Monitor developed by Aedes jointly with the tenants' union and the municipalities? How is the Benchmarking system in the Netherlands going to be further developed? Sebastien Garnier, Head of European Affairs for our Dutch member, Aedes presents a brief overview of the latest developments in Dutch social housing.

Read more on our blog
Energy efficiency in buildings in view of the “20-20-20” plan

On 20 and 21 October in Bologna took place the First European Congress: Energy efficiency in buildings in view of the “20-20-20” plan. The event gathered policy makers, scholars and practitioners, especially architects, engineers and urban planners who discussed on challenges facing their countries or communities in delivering effective energy efficiency solutions in buildings.

Read more

Articles & Publications
10 minutes with Björn Mallants, Director of VVH

Every month we introduce you to one of the people leading the work of our member organisations. In this edition, we took the train to nearby Antwerp to welcome the Director of our newest member, VVH, Björn Mallants to the Housing Europe family. Björn introduces the organisation, gives us information about the perception of housing in Flanders and shares some thoughts about the current challenges at national and regional level. Plus, as usual, he presents his own way to strike a good life-work balance.

Read the interview on our blog
Housing Europe guide on ‘Structural Funds & Housing’ now available in French

The Coordinator for European Affairs at Fondation Abbé Pierre, Marc Uhry prepared a French summary of our guide on ‘The use of Structural Funds for Housing’. Merci, Marc!

You may check the French edition here

You may always read and download the complete original version on our website
Privatising UK social housing won't work – just look at Europe

The British government is putting its faith in the market to solve the housing crisis. But many European countries have already done so and regret it claims the Head of the Austrian institute for real estate, construction and housing, Wolfgang Amann, a partner of Housing Europe.

Read his article on The Guardian
Are financial instruments fit to provide funding to the social sector?

Policy and Advocacy Adviser of Social Platform, Valentina Caimi blogs about the recent seminar that was organised jointly with Housing Europe, the European Commission and fi-compass to reflect on key questions such as: what are financial instruments, how can they be used, and can they be used in the social sector?
Valentina highlights the main outcomes of the seminar and clarifies the most important ‘grey issues’ around the various European financial mechanisms.

Read more

Call for partners: Social & Affordable Housing Alternatives

The Municipality of Barcelona invites Housing Europe members to join a Research and Capacity Building European Project within the Cost Program. Too often the characteristics and capacities of the actors working in the provision of affordable housing are overlooked. This project aims to bridge this gap, addressing the challenges of these organizations with regards to their resources and funding as organizational, networking and advocacy capacities to fulfill their goal. This is a unique opportunity to strengthen your organization and impact as well as to establish a network of experts on specific issues with accredited expertise.

Please find here additional information and get in touch with Maite Arrondo for further details.
ABRACADABRA presents its technical toolkit

The focus of the second International Workshop of the EU project Housing Europe takes part in, that was held online in form of a webinar, was the technical feasibility of the ABRACADABRA's approach and the Technical Toolkit developed by the project.

Read more
The Societal Challenges of Horizon 2020

On 11 October 2016, the Commission held an Info day on the Horizon 2020 calls on societal challenges in Brussels. Our Project Officer, Laura Gies was there and reports which calls are currently open and what are the most relevant ones to housing.

Read more

Housing Europe Committee Meetings November 2016
21-22 November 2016, Brussels

The Housing Europe Working Committees will meet again after summer in the third week of November in Brussels at Social Platform, Square de Meeus 18, 1050 (ground floor).

Check out the schedule & the draft agenda of the meetings

Register online
European Responsible Housing Awards 2016
Award Ceremony & Conference, 23 November, Brussels

The time to find out who are the leading social housing associations across Europe demonstrating socially innovative practices has come. The Award Ceremony of the 2nd European Responsible Housing Awards is taking place along with an international conference on 23 November in Brussels. The event is under the patronage of the European Committee of the Regions and under the auspices of the Slovak Presidency of the EU.

62 best practices from 9 countries have been submitted to the 4 categories that correspond to the core elements of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Find out more & register by 16 November
Workshop: Renovation of social housing
9 November, Brussels
Housing Europe organises in collaboration with its member organisation in Brussels, The Housing Association of the Brussels Capital Region, SLRB a seminar on the renovation of social housing in Europe.
A half-day workshop dedicated to the different best practices and approaches that are already effective on the ground, accelerating the refurbishment of social homes across the continent.

Find out more
Acting for responsible housing
Symposium – 24 November, Grenoble, France
DELPHIS, a Housing Europe partner in the European Responsible Housing Awards 2016, and SDH (Société Dauphinoise pour l’Habitat) are organising a major conference that will on the one hand illustrate how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can have a positive impact on territorial development, while it will also be the occasion for various housing stakeholders to exchange views around good practices through workshops, debates and even in the so called “innovation village”.

Find out more (in French)
EIB Stakeholder Engagement Workshop
9 December 2016, Brussels
On the International Anti-Corruption Day, this seminar aims at providing stakeholders with an opportunity to learn about and discuss the advantages, features and suitability of innovative approaches based on transparency and stakeholder engagement.

Experts from the European Investment Bank (EIB), representatives from Transparency International and the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) and business representatives will share their expertise and experience in an interactive format.

Find out more and register
Training session: State Aid for Structural Funds & Financial Instruments
28-29 November, Brussels
Investments from European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) have to comply with EU State aid regulations. The accurate incorporation of aid exemptions will facilitate the implementation of the Operational Programmes (Ops) and improves the absorption of ESI Funds.

Meet the experts in State aid law and specialists in EU funding from the European Commission and Member States. Discuss how to identify State aid in your programmes and projects and more…

Check out the agenda and register
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