EURHONET, a network of 32 public and social housing companies from France, Germany, Italy Sweden and the UK and a close partner of Housing Europe held its annual General Assembly in Potsdam in the end of October. The two-day meeting focused on the various challenges housing associations across Europe are facing. Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards shared our views and the extensive experience of our member organisations, Federations which bring together 43,000 local providers regarding the Social integration challenges.
Sorcha highlighted that affordable housing providers in many countries are already delivering solutions, mentioning a few concrete examples including the ‘Accelair’ programme in France, the ‘Kill it with Kindness’ initiative in Denmark, the diverse activities that the public housing companies in Sweden are undertaking to stimulate integration and more.
Furthermore, Sorcha underlined that access to housing is prerequisite for refugees and migrants to enter the labour market for which they face a number of obstacles. Participants also had the chance to hear about the latest Urban Innovative Action Initiative under which 5 cities will test new ideas and solution to facilitate the integration of migrants and refugees.
Finally, Sorcha the crucial next steps that need to be taken both with regards to legislation but also as far as EU funding is concerned.
The presentation was based on the scoping paper Housing Europe has produced for the Partnership on Integration of Migrants and Refugees of the Urban Agenda for the EU. Housing Europe Research Assistant, Abderrahim Khairi fed the presentation with the latest facts and figures on the topics of interest.