Finabita and Legacoop Abitanti are exploring the possibility to build up a consortium within the Housing Europe network to apply for EU funding. Their interest mainly focuses on upcoming calls such as the New European Bauhaus, the Affordable Housing Initiative, Horizon Europe (HORIZON), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the European Urban Initiative.
Our network's search is oriented toward Social Housing Providers, Housing Associations, European city authorities, and social housing stakeholders, such as tenant associations, universities and research centres, and not-for-profit organisations.
Who are they?
Finabita includes among its members the housing cooperatives represented by Legacoop Abitanti, the Unipol Group and Coopfond s.p.A and adheres to Legacoop and Legacoop Abitanti, it works mainly in consultancy activities on financial matters, management and research & development related to the affordable housing sector in Italy.
Legacoop Abitanti, established in 1961, is the National Association that organises and represents the housing cooperatives members of Legacoop - the association that today brings together more than 15 thousand cooperative enterprises, active in all sectors in Italy to create development, putting people and territory at the centre. In Italy cooperatives have contributed to the affordable housing offer with more than 330,000 housing units built and about 40,000 housing units, using public funds and activating private resources.
Project proposal concept
In the framework of sustainable renovation projects for social housing buildings, they are looking for experimenting co-design methodologies with the inhabitants and all relevant stakeholders.
Their main focus is on collaborative services, community management and social innovation in the field of affordable housing. Finabita and Legacoop Abitanti are currently developing projects and initiatives about models and prototypes of Integrated Service System for Affordable Housing at neighbourhood level, based on the principles of accessibility (architectural and social), environmental and economic sustainability, well-being, safety and inclusion. The leading idea is to consider the home – and its connections - not only a space for living but above all a ‘place of life’ where social relations are composed and emancipation is generated. This attention is decisive for the definition and development of a community welfare model which can successfully respond to current social and urban challenges.
According to this approach, the Integrated Service System calls for further research and experimentation to be set up on proximity and community and represent an effective set of tools in the whole urban regeneration process.
Therefore, the Italian consortium part will be engaged in challenging project partners on investigating innovative models and tools for affordable housing planning and management, social inclusion and community welfare, as well as for participatory processes aimed at co-producing services of public interest for social housing districts and their facilities. In particular, the they are interested in interventions aiming at designing and implementing a set of plug-in actions designed to enhance and empower the intangible capital of local communities.
Case study focus proposal
Our member's recent work in research and development has explored the role of creative and cultural services in the overall process of housing renovation and urban regeneration and capitalised on the specific knowledge and skills Legacoop Abitanti members and their partners acquired over time:
- in the planning, design and management of public and social housing interventions;
- in the definition and implementation of innovative patterns of Community Management and in particular through the model of the ‘Cooperative Housing Manager’ that housing cooperatives have developed in the last 15-year experience in the sector of affordable housing in Italy;
- in the most recent research and development on integrated social and affordable housing planning and management models, not only within the Municipality urban policy schemes, but also in the context of Public Housing Agencies’ and Cooperative Housing interventions;
- in measuring social impact in social and affordable housing and urban regeneration through models and tools already developed by “SociABìliTA” the partnership between TIRESIA, the research centre based in the School of Management of the Politecnico of Milan, and Legacoop Abitanti, Legacoopsociali and Finabita. This set of tools see both the Housing and the Social Coperatives co-designing the process of producing social value step-by-step according to an approach in which the generation of social value can become part of local development actions.
Both organisations have experienced further research and action is required to integrate Community Building and Placemaking in a well-defined field which cuts across urban sustainability and social innovation. In recent years, knowledge and skills acquired through Public Housing Agencies’ and Cooperative Housing experiences have unveiled an extended field of action also in the design and management of public spaces, services and facilities connected to housing complexes.
Therefore, their ideal proposal will focus on the activation and management of cultural-based neighbourhood services connected to housing complexes capable of co-producing value also in terms of public utility for the community of inhabitants and for the entire neighbourhood.
Project proposal areas
Finabita and Legacoop Abitanti are currently engaged in a number of project areas which may be taken into account as intervention sites for an international partnership initiative. These projects deal mainly with social housing renovation programmes funded and promoted at a city level and planned with a package of different interventions including also public spaces and facilities. They represent an ideal context to investigate and implement innovative models for affordable housing and urban regeneration schemes integrated with community welfare services.
You can count on housing initiatives already planned and funded in the framework of PINQUA, the national funding programme for social housing improvement in middle-size cities such as Bologna, Reggio Emilia, and Prato where Housing Cooperatives are involved in different roles. These are all initiatives where there is a lack of funding and initiative in actions designated for social innovation, thus they can represent an ideal case study for the above-mentioned topics.