Leading up to the 3rd European Responsible Housing Award ceremony taking place in Lyon on June 6th as part of the International Social Housing Festival, we will be showcasing all 25 finalists with their shortlisted projects. "Fair financing for housing affordability" means sustainable investment that ensures cost effectiveness and balancing of the level of services provided, related costs and how far current and prospective tenants/residents can afford them - minimizing housing costs as well as mitigating real estate speculation. Find out more about the 5 finalists below and listen from them what drives their work.
Handy Houses – Antwerp, Belgium
The cooperative company De Ideale Woning sells Handy Houses at affordable prices – vacant, out-dated social housing, which can be purchased in two payments: at half the value of the land in one lump-sum, and the other half over 70 years. There is a requirement for renovation and De Ideale Woning will support and supervise these works.
De Ideale Woning say,
“The Handy Houses are a brilliant answer to so many challenges according to affordable housing. We offer an alternative for people waiting for a social house for years. With the renovation obligation, which is being carried out by the new owner but under the guidance of De Ideale Woning, we encourage self-development and make people stronger and more resilient. Working with a long-term lease means that the affordability of the Handy Houses can also be guaranteed in the long term. And it is just a smart solution for outdated vacant social houses that would otherwise disappear from the social supply.”
From Streets to Homes – HOUSING NOW! - Budapest, Hungary
In the context of a housing crisis and where little to no social housing exists, organisation UT Utcáról Lakásba Egyesület decided to take matters into their own hands and acquire properties themselves, using Housing First and Tiny Homes approaches, and making agreements with municipalities.
Ekedal – Skövde, Sweden
Public housing company AB Skövdebostäder built 150 energy-efficient apartment, made affordable especially for young people. This project was nationally recognised and is now regarded as best practice.
"We are proud that we have succeeded to build new affordable apartments without sacrificing quality. The buildings are energy efficient, have solar panels on the roofs to contribute to the electricity consumption. Indoors we use parquet, tile, and clinker and on the outside maintenance free outer layers. We hope that Ekedal can be a role model and proof that it is possible to build cost efficiently, and by that enable more homes with affordable rents."
Permanently affordable and anti-speculative housing development in the City and the Metropolis of Lille – Lille Cedex, France
Non-profit Association Organsime de Foncier Solidaire de la Métropole Lilloise set out to acquire and manage land (built-up or otherwise) in order to neutralise land cost over time, so as to decreasing housing construction cost and increase housing affordability.
Place-based anti-speculation housing policies – Barcelona, Spain
Public company Institut Municipal de l’Habitage i Rehabilitacio (IMHAB), as part of the forward-looking Right to Housing Plan 2016-2025, pursued “place-based anti-speculation housing policies” - which included, among other things, selective acquisition of privately-owned housing units, mobilisation of affordable housing through bilateral agreements with private landlords.
“Anti-speculation housing policies in Barcelona were made possible thanks to a strong political commitment, which materialized into increased budget for capital investment and additional human resources, as well as improved public-private partnerships. The City commissioned several studies and a vacant housing census to develop a territorialised diagnosis. Different types of subsidies were provided to incentivize the mobilization of vacant market-rate units into the affordable housing stock, with support from private non-profit entities to manage some of the programmes. Finally, public support and the willingness of property owners to work with the City were also essential to make the project possible.”
The European Responsible Housing Awards is a joint initiative of Housing Europe, the International Union of Tenants (IUT) and Delphis.