The Housing Solutions Platform has just published a compendium of some of the most innovative and daring examples of housing solutions for the locked out in Europe. The selected projects focus on providing safe, decent, and affordable housing through many different means including innovative construction, novel legal mechanisms, new forms of inter-agency collaboration, and more. The innovative housing solutions selected by the committee also provide ways to overcome financial and political barriers within the European housing market.
Editorial by Freek Spinnewijn - FEANTSA Director, Sorcha Edwards - Housing Europe Secretary General and Christophe Robert - Fondation Abbé Pierre Executive Director
Increasing housing costs and budget cuts in social spending over recent years have contributed to an increasing number of people being locked out of a decent, affordable home. They face living in homelessness, inadequate or insecure housing.
FEANTSA (the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Home-less), the Fondation Abbé Pierreand Housing Europe have joined forces to address this deteriorating housing situation for low-income and vulnerable people in Europe, worsened by the financialisation of housing and dramatically demonstrated by recent increases in homelessness.
Together, we established a partnership, the Housing Solutions Platform, a new, expertise- and practice- driven initiative to identify, debate and promote innovative solutions for affordable housing in Europe. The platform seeks to make a contribution to addressing Europe’s housing crisis. It connects people, ideas, tools and practices to help generate housing solutions. The Platform aims to go beyond the usual prescriptions and debates and focus on innovative solutions, bringing together experts from across Europe, with a broad range of perspectives from different sectors.
The 50 solutions presented in this publication are the fruit of a year-long process and have been selected by a steering group of nine housing specialists from over 100 daring, out-of-the-box projects presented by academics, architects, urban planners, civil servants, social workers, activists, social housing providers and others, in Europe and beyond. The steering group members will introduce each of this book’s chapters and present their perspective on the challenges attached to each theme.
These 50 projects focus on providing decent and affordable housing to those affected by or at risk of homelessness. The projects use many different means including innovative construction, making use of the private rental sector, social housing, integrated approach-es and more. The innovative housing solutions selected by the committee also provide ways to overcome financial and political barriers within European housing systems. Some projects can be debated or contested. But none of them is intended to represent a silver bullet that would solve the housing crisis. All represent ad hoc, local, sometimes very small-scale efforts to fill the gap left by existing housing systems. We have gathered them in the hope of inspiring more courage and creativity in housing policy.
Some of these projects (those marked in orange) have not been through the selection but have been brought forward as noteworthy complementary examples by the steer-ing committee members.
Finally, we would like to express our thanks to the King Baudouin Foundation and the Y-Foundation who were the first ones to trust us with this idea of addressing the exist-ing gap in showcasing and transnational networking of experts and practitioners around the topics of daring housing solutions for those excluded from the housing market. Our hope is for this initiative to be the start of a long-term housing solutions community of practices determined to connect, identify, share and implement impactful ideas that make a difference to people’s lives by providing adequate affordable housing solutions for the locked-out.
The Housing Solutions Platform is a partnership between FEANTSA, Fondation Abbé Pierre and Housing Europe | www.housing-solutions-platform.org