Housing Europe News 06.03.2017
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The first signs of spring have started appearing in Brussels but they have been clearly overshadowed by the European Commission announcement of the long awaited White Paper on the future of Europe. The 5 scenarios presented by President Juncker are not just the talk of the town but most importantly the basis of a multi-level political debate that will last until the European Elections in 2019. We have put together an analysis of all scenarios, aiming to identify their potential implications on our sector. 

We are also happy to present to you our Policy Scoreboard that allows to the members and partners of Housing Europe to have an overview of our advocacy work at a glance. 

It's not just election time in 3 of the biggest EU countries this year, we have our own elections, too. Are you a Housing Europe member willing to be involved in the Board or in the Working Committees? See how you can apply for the vacant positions.

After reading the report that the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Leilani Farha presented last week with a focus on the devastating effects of the financialization of housing, we invite you to follow us to Spain, Sweden and Germany for some positive developments in the housing sector there.

Last but not least, make sure that you stay up to date with the EU projects we are involved in. March is going to be dedicated to energy and our work within the framework of relevant projects will be taking center stage in Brussels this week. 
Enjoy the read!

Quick Links 

Housing Europe Policy Scoreboard (*)
The Advocacy Work of Housing Europe at a glance

The 'Policy Scoreboard' allows Housing Europe members to keep track of all important policy dossiers that the Secretariat in Brussels is working on at any given moment. What is the state of play? What have been the key achievements and what are the next steps of both the EU Institutions and of Housing Europe?

Log in on our website to check it out and download it
5 scenarios for the future of the EU after Brexit | Where could this bring the social housing sector? (*)

On March 1st, the European Commission has presented 5 scenarios for the future of the EU after Brexit. Although discussions at all levels about those scenarios will continue until the next European elections in 2019, it is interesting to see how our main policy demands can fit into them.

For each scenario, we tried to figure out what impact it might have on key EU policies/mechanisms which are relevant for public, cooperative and social housing. We have chosen 5 relevant areas:

a) State Aid
b) the European Semester
c) Funding
d) Energy & Environment
e) Social
Log in on our blog to read more
Housing Europe joins high-level Task Force for Social Infrastructure Investment

Housing Europe has been invited as an expert contributor to the high-level task force with the code name "HLTF SI" that will publish recommendations by the end of the year to promote the financing of social infrastructure (health, education, social housing…).

With the European Long-Term Investors Association as the main promotor and support from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission the High-Level Task Force (HLTF) for Social Infrastructure Investment while Maximising Public Value chaired by the former President of the European Commission and Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi had its kick-off meeting on 13 February.

Read more
UN report: "Housing is a right, not a commodity"

Housing and real estate markets worldwide have been transformed by global capital markets and financial excess.  Known as the financialization of housing, the phenomenon occurs when housing is treated as a commodity – a vehicle for wealth and investment rather than a social good.

In her most recent report to the UN Human Rights Council, UN Special Rapporteur for Adequate Housing, Leilani Farha explores the financialization of housing and its detrimental impact on human rights.  From forced evictions to make way for luxury developments to empty homes and people pushed out of their communities because they simply could not afford to live there, the repercussions have been felt across the globe.

Read the complete report here
Tenancy law and energy renovation in European comparison

The German Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development has issued a comparative study covering 14 countries, analyzing the impact of EU legislation with a special focus on energy efficiency.

The results of this research run by an interdisciplinary team show that countries which provide the best preconditions for the adequate implementation of energy efficiency measures are those with differentiated rental markets, with strong associations and interest representation, a high share of non-profit landlords, as well as specific and effective legal provisions to enable the allocation of the costs of energy refurbishment measures on tenants.

Read more
European Regional Competitiveness Index 2016 is out

The European Commission has issued the 2016 update of the European Regional Competitiveness Index, a triennial study that measures the ability of the various EU regions to provide an attractive and sustainable environment for attracting businesses and citizens. Among the points taken into account in this index are health, infrastructure, higher education, labour efficiency, and innovation, while overall 263 regions were examined.

The important added-value of the RCI is that it extends the traditional analysis of competitiveness from a purely economic measure to incorporate social elements.

Read more
Germany: Tenants (will) have the power | Political Agreement on the so called “Mieterstrom”
Federal Minister for Economics and Energy, Brigitte Zypries paved the way for a legislative initiative before the upcoming German Elections that will make the so called ‘Mieterstrom’ a reality. Tenants will in this way be involved more strongly in the expansion of renewable energies (RES) and in the overall energy transition (‘Energiewende’). According to a study by the ministry, 3.8 million households could benefit from low-cost solar power thanks to Photovoltaics on their roofs.

The political agreement that seems to be in place between the governmental coalition partners is expected to be translated into legislation over the coming months, reinforcing the use of RES in the German cities that so far has been limited due to complicated financial and legal conditions.

More information (in German)

Articles & Publications
Cooperatives revitalize the Spanish real estate market

Housing cooperatives in Spain have become one of the main players that are reactivating the Spanish real estate market. 2016 has indeed been the year in which the crisis was left behind, although the sector is still recovering...

Read more on our blog
Sweden: Investing in young people

Aim your shot at the basket instead of at each other. With this challenge, Västra Hisingen Basketball Club hopes to bring about a change in the attitudes of young people in Biskopsgården, Sweden. As a result of a new leadership training course - known as HSB's (a member of Housing Europe) Academy - they hope to be able to contribute to a safer Biskopsgården.

Read more on our blog
Social Platform report: Investing in services for people’s well-being

Starting from the experience of many Social Platform members, their national members and partners on the ground, this publication is designed to show that investing in high quality health, housing, social, employment and education services and social infrastructures for all is an investment in people and for the future, and not simply a cost. 14 case studies from 12 EU Member States illustrate how this approach can be implemented in practice.

Read and download the publication

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
The agenda is now available, few seats are left! Read more and register now!
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
Activating a market for deep-renovation through building additions
16 March in Brussels

The 3rd International Workshop 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.

Eva Bauer of our Austrian Member, GBV will be among the speakers. Eva will hold a presentation on the issue of 'Norms and regulations: opportunity or disincentive' within the framework of the session dedicated to the success factors of deep renovation across Europe, exploring how best practices can be replicated.

Read more and register
PV Financing webinar: Business models for the next generation of solar PV deployment in the EU
The PV Financing project, in which Housing Europe is a partner, aims to successfully remove barriers and identify new avenues for the photovoltaic market development. Last February, Solar Power Europe held within the framework of PV Financing an EU-wide webinar on the business models for the PV industry of the future. Topics covered include: Power Purchase Agreements in the UK and elsewhere, the Mieterstrom neighbour solar supply model in Germany and the collective self-consumption model in France.

You may access out all presentations online
Designing Inclusion: How to adapt urban planning teaching for the inclusion of refugees and migrants

Housing Europe joins a diverse consortium of partners for an Erasmus+ funded project that aims to adapt the teaching of urban planning targeting the inclusion of refugees and migrants. On 14 and 15 February, one of the initial project meetings was hosted in the office of Housing Europe.

Read more
The energy efficiency data hub

This data hub presents energy efficiency projects funded under Horizon 2020. With this application it is now possible to simply search and filter projects by topic (buildings, consumers, heating & cooling, industry, products & services, innovative financing public authorities), country, project type, year (start or end date) and budget range. Besides this, each project has a summary that includes some information about the project, the participants and a link for their website. Good source for inspiration?

Read more

Housing Europe March 2017 meetings
Working Committees and 'Getting our homes future ready' workshop

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
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
Apply now! European Social Innovation Tournament

The European Investment Bank (EIB) Institute is organizing its sixth edition of the Social Innovation Tournament, an opportunity for social innovators from across Europe to access funding, mentoring and support to grow their social enterprise. This competition promotes the generation of innovative ideas and rewards initiatives that fight against social exclusion; this year's theme is 'Equality Rebooted''.

Projects compete for two prizes in a General Category and two prizes in a Special Category: Ageing. Winning projects in each category are awarded a 1st and 2nd Prize of EUR 50 000 and EUR 20 000 respectively.

Find out more and apply
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