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Housing goes to polls

What is the place of housing on the political agenda of national elections across Europe?

Brussels, 3 April 2017 | Social, Urban, Economy

In a year of national elections in many EU member states that also finds the Brexit procedure being formally triggered, housing holds a place on the priority list in the political agenda.

In the recent elections in the Netherlands the social housing tax, social rent levels, the overall investment in housing and energy efficiency were themes found in the programmes of all political parties with our member, Aedes calling for more flexibility of the framework in which housing associations operate, as they have to deal with changing needs.

As the clock is ticking before the French Elections, Union Sociale pour l’ Habitat launched a campaign inviting both politicians and the civil society to say “Yes to Social Housing”. The online petition under the same title has already attracted more than 15.000 signatures while during the Housing National Day held on March 14th a wide range of 54 diverse stakeholders, directly or indirectly linked with the social housing sector, including tenants’ associations, have signed the declaration that identifies social housing as an asset for the French society that candidates should safeguard.

Finally, in Germany there is still time until the we find out the new Chancellor in autumn, but the election mode is already on and housing is one of the reasons for that. Housing features on the frontpages of magazines, such as Stern, with the Socialist candidate Martin Schulz calling in the early stages of his campaign for support for affordable housing. Housing Europe member in the country, GdW has set its own milestones for the sectoral agenda that goes beyond housing with an emphasis on building and living, trying to adapt to the new reality. In the changing German society GdW suggests a policy mix that will accelerate construction, will generate decentralized energy and will make actual integration possible, focusing on neighbourhoods rather than on buildings.

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