As more cities look outside their national frontiers for ideas and funding to address evolving housing needs, Housing Europe was happy to present a snapshot of innovation within the sector and latest developments in EU funding opportunities for housing to the EUROCITIES Housing Working Group. The meeting took place in Dublin on June 18th and provided a place to exchange on how European cities are taking up the challenge of how providing affordable rental and owner-occupied housing. The focus of the meeting was on ‘Financing Affordable Housing to 2040 and Beyond’.
As Ireland grapples with a severe housing shortage, the city authorities are investigating options to produce new housing and to renew and renovate existing housing stock in Ireland, with a particular emphasis on the city of Dublin. A central facet of the city’s strategy is to link practice with reliable evidence.
To this end a housing observatory has been established and is being launched today, July 9th. At the meeting, Sorcha Edwards joined representatives from the city of Vienna, the city of Barcelona, The National Economic and Social Council (NESC), Ireland. For Housing Europe, Sorcha presented a range of ways housing providers, public, cooperative and social, across Europe are innovating to maintain supply and peoples changing needs, often in difficult circumstances. In line with the state of housing report, Sorcha stressed that public support from national levels is not sufficient to address the housing crisis which is exerting a growing human and economic cost across Europe and welcomed the work of cities to keep this issue high on the political agenda.
Based on the constant monitoring of the Housing Europe Brussels team, Sorcha informed on the latest developments in terms of EU funding for the sector stressing a welcome renewed emphasis on the need for long-term investment in housing, education and health. New EU funding proposals, now under negotiation, include increased emphasis on social infrastructure the need for public guarantees and capacity building at local level. Housing Europe is working with institutions and the sector to shape this proposal so that it actually helps direct investment to the sector while maintaining political focus in Brussels on the fact that limitations imposed by recent interpretation of the stability and growth pact may slow the pace of much needed affordable housing delivery.