Housing Europe is partner in a EU PROGRESS project on the reform of housing policies. This project, led by the Flemish Housing Agency and KU Leuven, aims at reviewing the different elements of housing policies that could be improved and making some recommendations to policy makers for a more cost effective housing policy.
On 24 February a group of stakeholders representing the social housing sector and the private developers (UEPC) discussed the following questions:
- What is the most important housing goal of each stakeholder and why; can consensus be reached about goals?
- Which policy instruments do you see (most) suitable to reach this goal?
- What are according to you cost effective housing policies?
While affordability was a consensual goal, some pointed out that well functioning housing markets were also a valid objective of housing policies. To the question whether housing policies should have non housing goals, the participants answered that they are many benefits from investing in affordable housing, however the housing sector cannot be made responsible for instance for job creation or other elements of the welfare state.
Regarding the policy instruments, there was an agreement that a mix of demand side and supply side subsidies is in most cases relevant. As for the cost effectiveness, there are various definitions according to the criteria used and the non housing gains that you try to measure.
The discussion will continue online via a questionnaire that stakeholders are welcome to fill. The project will end with a final conference on 20th June, where results of the research on the different housing models will be presented and discussed by housing providers and policy makers.