In November, our member, the Co-operative Housing Federation of Norway (NBBL) met Housing Europe's staff in Brussels for a face-to-face exchange from which we learnt about what is at stake for cooperatives in the north while we explained how EU legislation is directly impacting the EEA area.
Norway is an energy nation using hydropower, currently supplying major European states, such as Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and even the United Kingdom with energy. Housing cooperatives in the country are nearly all private housing and NBBL comprises of 41 cooperative associations, 594,000 housing units, building between 5 and 6,000 new homes every year.
Just like the EU, Norway also has the ambition to be fit for -55% less CO2 emissions by 2030 but also clearly sees the challenges in achieving the goal. It is important to add that while the sector realises the crucial role of renovating the building stock, the government has not yet come up with a renovation roadmap that shows the way forward in the next few decades to housing and construction players. In comparison to many EU countries, Norway's government is currently providing rather generous energy subsidies, amounting to €4bn in 2022, but policymakers also remain cautious, not giving away too much in order to avoid higher inflation and recession.
At the moment, inflation is at 7.5% - way less than the average 11.5% in the EU - and unemployment is at only 1.6% leaving the sector in search of more workforce. Additionally, non-fixed interest rates are a big question mark on whether Norway's highly in-debt society would be able to cover its mortgages.
Have you seen some of the films NBBL worked on together with BBC StoryWorks as part of our joint #BuildingCommunities campaign? You can enjoy them here.
Our Membership and Events Coordinator is motivated to organise more of these unofficial meetings between our network and the team in Brussels.
Get in touch with him if you would like to schedule a meet-up in 2023.