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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. 


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 

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

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

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

10:00 – 10:10 | Break

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

When it comes to talking about housing “affordability”, it can be easy to get bogged down in abstract discussions around the meaning of the word. This distracts from the measurable value delivered by Housing Europe’s members and the importance of being able to put a secure roof over your head without incurring undue financial hardship. So, how can we make this a reality for more people and what policies have been shown to improve the affordability of housing? 

With a diverse range of speakers—including Dr Julie Lawson, the Lead Writer of the #Housing2030 initiative, which aims to shed a light on best practices in a range of areas related to delivering affordability in housing—this session promises to be an illuminating and lively discussion.

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

Helle Søholt, CEO 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)

11:10 – 11:20 Break

11:20 – 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, to the Mediterranean and to the former Soviet Union, will tell a story of a part of our society which is at it’s best not static, not defined but in constant flux. Meeting our needs in changing realities.

Opening video presentation


Jackie McIntosh, Director of Property and Initiatives, Wheatley Group

Martin Wilkie McFarlane, Director, Wellhouse Housing Association member organisation of Easterhouse Housing and Regeneration Housing Alliance (EHRA) 

12:20-12:30 | Concluding session

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