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Affordable housing: a challenge for our metropolises and for Europe

International conference at the European Parliament in Strasbourg | 17-18 January 2019

Strasbourg, 17 January 2019Save the date

The aim of this event is not only to turn the spotlight on the crucial issue of housing in Europe, and its inextricable connections to other aspects of European policy (innovation, transport etc.), but also to tackle head on the problems of housing poverty and the need to adopt a strong, specific Europe-wide policy on housing and living conditions. With this aim in mind, and given the disparities which exist between different European nations, the goal of this conference will be to obtain a broad perspective on potential initiatives for the future, in response to our shared priorities in areas such as providing housing for our most vulnerable citizens, welcoming migrants, building affordable housing and reducing energy bills. More generally, our ambition for these days is to identify action strategies at European level with a view to achieving greater social cohesion at territorial level.

The social housing congress of the Union Sociale de l’Habitat in Strasbourg last September proved to be a major event for all of the key players in the social housing sector: elected officials, landlords, associations and developers. The congress helped to create a new sense of momentum in the sector, allowing us to share observations, best practices, challenges and the desire to work together to better serve the interest of lower-income households in need of housing solutions (access, maintenance, affordable housing, housing formats suited to changing lifestyles etc.).

As a follow-up, Housing Europe French member organisation now invites you to take this process of joint reflection and creative collaboration to the next level, adopting a broader approach to questions of social housing above and beyond national borders.

With this goal in mind, Mrs. TRAUTMANN, Vice-President of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg for Outreach and European Relations, and Mr. AGHA BABAEI, Vice-President of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg for Habitat and Housing, in partnership with Housing Europe and the Union Sociale pour l’Habitat (USH), have organised a conference devoted to social housing in Europe.

Provisional Agenda


Thursday 17 January, afternoon:

  • Delegates arrive from 12:30 – 13:30
  • Seminar begins at 14:30
  • Opening address by Cédric Van Styvendael, President of Housing Europe, Jean-Louis Dumont, President of the Union Sociale pour l’Habitat (USH), Roland Ries, Mayor of Strasbourg and Catherine Trautmann, Vice-President of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg
  • Roundtable 'Looking for affordable housing: a European Challenge'
    • Introduction Marie BALEO, La fabrique de la Cité, author of the report on social housing in the European Metropolises
    • Social housing providers' point of view - Alice PITTINI, Housing Europe Research Director
    • Tenants' point of view - Barbara STEENBERGEN, Head of EU Affairs for the International Union of Tenants (IUT) and Colin RIEGGER, Secretary General of Confédération Syndicale des Familles du Bas-Rhin
    • Reactions by MEPs Guillaume BALAS et Geoffroy DIDIER

18:00 Guided tour of the Danube eco-district, Strasbourg

20:00 Buffet meal offered by the City of Strasbourg and Union Sociale de l’Habitat, at Strasbourg City Hall

Friday 18 January, morning:

Delegates arrive 8:00 – 9:00

Conference begins at 9:30

  • Opening address from Robert Herrmann, President of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg & Cédric Van Styvendael, President of Housing Europe
  • Plenary session: What role can the metropolis play in inventing the housing rights of the future?
    • Overview of housing policy in various European cities and metropolises (invited guests : STRASBOURG, BARCELONA, VIENNA, LIVERPOOL)
    • Round table discussion addressing various themes, with contributions from several European metropolises (invited guests include: FREIBOURG, GOTHENBURG): helping migrants and homeless people, getting citizens involved, economic stakes, solidarity between territories, links between urban and rural territories, planning, property market regulation etc.

12:00 Buffet lunch provided by the City of Strasbourg and Union Sociale de l’Habitat at the European Parliament

14:00 Guided tour of an urban regeneration project in Strasbourg (Meinau or Neuhof) or alternatively visit to the European Parliament