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Forget about the price tag! Let’s talk about the social value of housing

Housing Europe's Annual Conference | Online | #nopricetag

Online, 15 October 2020Save the date

Over the last few years, more and more cities around the globe have become unlivable for a big part of their population due to the increasing lack of affordable housing solutions. The financialisation of land and housing and the dominant notion on the public debate of housing as a commodity is damaging our communities. In this context, public, cooperative and social housing providers have been committed to investing and re-investing in their neighbourhoods generating value in different forms and in the long-term. Housing Europe and SFHA will turn this conference into a call to forget about the price tag and rather focus on the much-neglected social value of housing instead.

Housing Europe, the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing, representing in Brussels more than 43,000 housing associations from across Europe dedicates its annual conference to the value that provision of affordable housing generates for our communities.

The high-level event will be held online jointly with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), a member of Housing Europe. Every year, more than 150 representatives of housing associations across Europe, policymakers, academics, researchers, architects, tenants and the civil society come together in an exchange that generates evidence-based policy suggestions on the key issues of the housing agenda.

*Please note that all time slots are in BST time. We are starting at 10.00 CET.


Moderated by Eddy Adams, URBACT Programme Level Expert & Social Innovation

8.30-9.00 (BST time) | The platform opens for participants

9.00-9.30 | Opening session & setting up the scene 

Welcome Words by Sally Thomas, SFHA Chief Executive 

The European experience by Bent Madsen, President of Housing Europe & BL - Housing Denmark Chair 

Opening speech by Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland (TBC)

Keynote address by Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD 

9:45  – 10:00 | Break

10:00-11:00 | Panel Session 1 – ‘Housing 2030: what we talk about when we talk about affordability?

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink the homes and communities we live in. Questions about the adequacy and the quality of residential buildings are coming from all sections of society. At the same time, increased financial strain for millions of households is also serving to exacerbate pre-existing issues around the basic affordability of housing for those on low and moderate incomes.

With ‘quick fixes’ and ideologically driven pushes for ‘deregulation’ of our housing systems promoted by some policymakers as solutions to the crises of supply and affordability, the #Housing2030 initiative aims to offer practical, tried and tested solutions that promote not just ‘affordable homes’, but also ‘quality’ homes and ‘liveable’ communities that work for residents. 

With a diverse range of speakers—including Dr Julie Lawson, the Lead Writer of the #Housing2030 initiative—this session promises to be an illuminating and lively discussion amongst experts who, above all else, are interested in policies that actually work for people.

Opening presentation to be delivered by Laurie Macfarlane, Economics Writer at openDemocracy


Laurie Macfarlane, Economics Writer at openDemocracy 

Julie Lawson, Honorary Associate Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne

David Sim, Creative Director at Gehl, urban research and design consulting firm in Denmark

Laurice Ponting, Chief Executive at HouseMark 

Andrew van Doorn, Chief Executive at Housing Associations' Charitable Trust (HACT)

11:00 – 11:10 Break

11:10 – 12:20 | Panel Session 2 – ‘The transformational power of social housing’

This session will bring you on a revelatory journey to witness how neighbourhoods can undergo transformation without losing their soul. Be prepared as it may also transform your preconceptions about who social housing providers are and what they do. This conversation between the large and small, the community-led and the corporate, which will bring you from Scotland to Scandinavia, will tell a story of a part of our society which is at its best not static, not defined but in constant flux. Meeting our needs in changing realities.

Opening video presentation


Craig Vesey, Property Development and Initiatives Coordinator, Wheatley Group

Linda Cameron, Provanhall Housing Association and Chair of Easterhouse Housing and Regeneration Housing Alliance (EHRA)

Flemming Løvenhardt, the Danish tenant experience  

Joanna Brezińska, Deputy Director, City of Łódź Department of Revitalisation and Sports 

Raphaële d’Armancourt, Director of urban & territorial affairs, L’Union sociale pour l’habitat

12:20-12:30 | Concluding session

Make sure that you REGISTER on time & remember, #nopricetag