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What if... we imagined Next Generation housing with the youth?

Green, connected, inclusive 21st-century homes

Helsinki, Finland, 16 June 2022Save the date

In 2022, the European Year of Youth, European public, cooperative, and social housing providers would like to change the narrative for the better. The EU has committed to building a better future for young generations, making their days ahead greener, more inclusive, and digital – three dimensions that are intrinsic to housing. The annual conference will be held during the International Social Housing Festival in Helsinki.

If we gather a hundred millennials and young people in Generation X, how many would face difficulty in paying their rent? Could you guess how many would own a home? Would there be youngsters facing the dilemma of turning down education or job opportunities because it is hard to secure an affordable place to live? What percentage would live with their parents while their choice would rather be taking the path to independence?

‘Young households find it increasingly difficult to leave the parental home; they rent for longer periods and are less likely to purchase a home,’ the OECD report ‘Housing and Inclusive Growth’ stated clearly. Statistics across Europe do vary and yet, in 2021, young people took the streets of some of the biggest capitals reclaiming their fundamental right to housing. Having a home is more than four walls and a roof, it has direct implications on health, inclusion in society, education, the job market, and even affects when young people start forming a family. At the same time, paying high rent for decades can become harder when people retire and their pensions cannot bridge the gap between their income and basic living standard.

Is this disparity deeply cemented? In 2022, the European Year of Youth, European public, cooperative, and social housing providers represented by Housing Europe would like to change the narrative for the better. The EU has committed to building a better future for young generations, making their days ahead greener, more inclusive, and digital – three dimensions that are intrinsic to housing.

During our annual conference on June, 16th which will take place in Helsinki (Finland) during the International Social Housing Festival, we will zoom in on forward-looking policy solutions supporting the youth, hear from social and affordable housing providers who are already addressing the challenge with innovation, and give the floor to the youth to speak out clearly what their needs are.

We are expecting you on June, 16th at 09:30 EET at Kino Regina in the Helsinki Central Library Oodi.

#ISHF2022 #EYY2022

*All times are in local Helsinki time (EET).



9:00 Kino Regina opens doors


Jean-Paul Judson, Moderator & Founder of NOWMORE


Welcome & why the housing-the-youth debate is of paramount importance?

Bent Madsen, Housing Europe President

09:40 – 09:50

Keynote speech

Biliana Sirakova, the first elected EU Youth Coordinator – video message

Iratxe García Pérez, President of the S&D group at the European Parliament - video message


The EU Green Deal through the lenses of the youth

If political ambitions go to plan, it will be young people today who will be the ones living in carbon-neutral Europe in 2050. They will feel the real effect of the ongoing Renovation Wave, Affordable Housing Initiative, New European Bauhaus, and EU Green Deal. The youth nowadays is the true Next Generation EU and the people paying the largest amount of the bill. What do they have to tell us?


Christian Krainer, GBV Austria, modular approach to housing, Kiubo

Edo Omic, Senior Economist at the Council of Europe Development Bank

Filipa Roseta, Councilwoman for Housing and Municipal Works in the City Council of Lisbon


Inclusive spaces as a stepping stone for opportunities

The most desired areas in big cities are usually where the best career opportunities are. However, this is also where citizens pay the highest price to live, a correlation that often pushes young men and women far away from the job market, higher education, the possibility to get training, and even cultural activities.


Fatih De Vos, Belgian rap singer, former social housing tenant working with youth in Flanders

Mariachiara Cela member of the Board of Directors of DAR=CASA cooperative, Italy

Eeke van der Wal, Social project manager, Social Housing Corporation Parteon (Zaandam) and previously working as student coordinator in a housing project in Amsterdam North

Barend Wind, Strategic advisor at Housing Association Lieven de Key (Amsterdam) and university lecturer in housing studies at the University of Groningen


The metaverse in real-life neighbourhoods – a chance to connect, mingle and co-create

In times when young people also need to keep a social distance, work, and study from home while social media networks are promising a parallel reality, how can we ensure that they make the best out of the area they live in and from their digital connections? This panel will look into ways in which the youth can communicate effectively on- and offline.

Ian Wright, Director, Disruptive Innovators Network

Samuli Killström, Managing Director of NAL Asunnot

Lucie Lescude, International Affairs, Project Manager at Paris Habitat




Youth Voice Charter for the International Housing Sector

What can social and affordable housing providers, the EU, cities, and national governments, as well as young people start doing as of tomorrow to ‘build’ better homes in the near future?

In this last part, colleagues from the biggest social housing provider in England, Clarion who work with 18-25-years-old social housing tenants will put the main takeaways from the day to the test of the just-agreed ‘Youth Voice Charter for the International Housing Sector”. This written commitment is a set of principles designed and delivered by young residents outlining how we can better listen to them when shaping services and programmes.

Sarah Mitton, Age-Friendly Communities Manager, Clarion Futures

John Stevens, Partnerships and Projects Manager, Clarion Futures

18-25-year-old tenants in social and public housing who are part of the active network from the Youth Leaders’ Summit



Sorcha Edwards, Secretary-General of Housing Europe

A few things to keep in mind

  • With one single registration form, each participant can register for the festival and also for the different events.
  • Most events require registration due to maximum venue capacities or group sizes. Events that don’t require registration are mainly exhibition stands and online events.
  • Participants can register for the festival and return to their registration form later to register for the events. You can modify the registration and change your choice after you have submitted the registration form, meaning you can change which events you will attend. 

For any further information, contact Diana Yordanova.