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Housing Solutions Platform Debate on the Collective Housing Transformation

11 October, 14:00 – 16:00 CEST

Online (Zoom), 11 October 2021Save the date

Systematised emergency accommodation is a reactive, disorganised and segmented response to homelessness. As the main response to homelessness, generalised and institutionalised, it is an ineffective, inefficient and unsafe solution. Indeed, solving homelessness requires long-term affordable housing, sometimes integrated with support services. Where is long-term affordable housing going to come from? How can it be made available quickly and at-scale whilst ensuring adequacy?

This debate will contribute to answering these questions by investigating how existing buildings (hotels, student housing, shelters, offices, shops) can be transformed into long-term housing or accommodation as an alternative to shelter. It will build on insights gained during the COVID19 pandemic, which created sudden changes in building use in Europe’s cities. The pandemic threw into sharp relief the inadequacy of emergency shelters and necessitated innovation. Hotels, tourist apartments, offices and student accommodation were amongst the buildings that became available to accommodate homeless people more safely. As we move towards recovery, it is time to reflect on these experiences and develop strategies to generate longer term wins.


Chair: Sarah Coupechoux (Foundation Abbé Pierre)

1. Presentation: Collective Housing Transformation Report- Chloé Serme-Morin/FEANTSA (15’)

2. Q&A (5’)

3. Responses (85’)

Practitioner perspectives

Mauro Striano, Bruss'help, Belgium

Michael Monte, Champlain Housing Trust (USA)

Arnaud DeBroca, UNAFO 

Financing perspectives

Michelle Norris, Chair of Housing Finance Agency

Jarmo Linden, ARA Finland

Samir Kulenovic, CEB

Future perspectives

Deborah Padgett, Professor at NYU Silver, for more global analysis of development in USA

Donal McManus, CEO Irish Council for Social Housing

4. Conclusions (15’)

Karel Vanderpoorten (DG Grow)

Sorcha Edwards (Housing Europe)

Ruth Owen (FEANTSA)