Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards was among the speakers of the International Union of Tenants’ (IUT) Conference that took place in Glasgow on October 14th, delivering the message that housing associations have in fact more in common with tenants than issues that bring them apart.
Regulation of rents has different names in different parts of the world: rent control, rent regulation, rent stabilisation, rent certainty, etc. But in reality, they all mean basically the same: the real goal of rent regulation is to protect the moral rights of occupancy. Long-term tenants who contributed to their homes being a desirable place to live have a legitimate interest in staying there. This has been the core of the debate at the Conference organised by the IUT in Glasgow that brought together tenants’ representatives from 29 countries with local and national authorities but also with the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing, Housing Europe.
Sorcha joined the advisor of the vice-mayor of Paris on the podium at the IUT’s congress to discuss efforts to increase the affordability of Housing. Taking place in the same week as Habitat III where the UN placed housing firmly on the global Urban agenda, she highlighted that with the combination of difficulty in accessing home-ownership markets following the sub-prime crisis, the growing burden of high rents in the private rental sector and the challenge faced by many of our communities in welcoming migrants, the time is ripe to put responsible housing firmly back on the political agenda.
Sorcha highlighted the collaboration with the IUT in the organisation of the second edition of the Responsible Housing Awards to be celebrated on November 23rd at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. Promoting social housing with decision makers requires firstly good collaboration with residents and the awards will showcase some of the Avant-Gard examples of this from around Europe.