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The Housing Policies of our Future

How to make them work

UN Palais des Nations, Geneva, 15 September 2016Save the date
The Speakers' Line-up
The Speakers' Line-up

On September 15th 2016 at Palais des Nations in Geneva Housing Europe joins forces with the UN Economic Commission for Europe, UNECE, the Slovakian Presidency of the EU and Cooperative Housing International for a capacity building conference that aims to deliver a roadmap of suggestions for the housing policies of our future in Europe and beyond.

Now that many European countries have to adapt their housing policies to the changing needs we have launched the “Housing for All” campaign calling for EU institutions, EU member states, local authorities and housing providers to work together to boost the supply of affordable homes for liveable communities bearing three key principles in mind:

  1. Producing more flexible and evidence-based policies
  2. Protecting the increasing numbers of the vulnerable groups of the population
  3. Making space for emerging alternatives, such as Community Land Trust, Shared Ownership etc.

Get together with policy makers from the UNECE region, with more than 180 housing providers from across the EU as well as with representatives from a wide range of local authorities, international institutions and of the civil society! 

The conference takes place within the framework of the "Housing for All" campaign


09:00 Registration & Welcome

10:00 Introduction

  • Elena Szolgayová
    Director General, DG Housing Policy and Urban Development, Chair of the UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management
  • Marc Calon
    President, Housing Europe
  • Nicholas Gazzard
    President, Cooperative Housing International

Keynote Presentation

Peter Cachola Schmal
Curator German Pavillon, Venice Biennale of Architecture
"Making Heimat. Germany, Arrival Country"

10:30-11:45 Session I: Housing and Society
Moderated by Eddy Adams, URBACT Programme Expert & SIX Adviser                  

Good quality, affordable housing is one of main drivers of change towards a better society. Public, cooperative and social housing providers have a multifaceted and measurable impact in the wider community. Numerous best practices of dealing with challenges such as migration, homelessness and social exclusion in general can be identified across Europe. How can successful models be multiplied and adopted from the local to the national as well to the international level in times of tight public budgets?                                  

- Natalia Rogaczewska
Chief Advisor & Head of European Affairs, BL – Danish Federation of Housing Associations
"Skandia Model on measuring impact of investment"

- Stuart Ropke
Group Chief Executive, Community Housing Cymru, Wales
"Measuring the Economic Impact of Housing Associations in Wales"

- Anders Lago 
Chair, HSB – Swedish Housing Cooperatives
"Investment in housing and jobs strengthen the economy"

- Francis Deplace
Director, Dephis – Non-profit association gathering 26 social housing
"Measuring the local economic impact of housing association activities"

- Yves-Laurent Sapoval

Senior Advisor for the Directorate for Housing, Urban Development and Landscapes, France
"The importance of Housing in achieving the goals of Habitat III & Cop21"

- Q & A session

11.45-12.00 Coffee Break

12.00-13.00 Pecha Kucha session “Emerging responses to housing needs”

More and more communities or groups of people come together to create their own housing solutions. Housing associations work harder to improve the overall quality of life of their tenants. Civil society and local authorities make the case against the “scandal of 11 million empty homes in Europe”. The “Housing First” model re-sets the priorities when it comes to addressing extreme forms of social inclusion.

May it be community-led housing, improvement of the local communities, making use of empty homes or paving a “housing first” way out of homelessness more and more responses have been emerging for years that now seem to be gaining a share of the housing policy agenda.

  • Community led housing by Bea Varnai, urbaMonde
  • Improving local communities, Joanna Charlton, Shepherds Bush Housing Association
  • Tackling the challenge of empty homes by FEANTSA
  • The Housing First way out of homelessness by Juha Kaakinen, Y Foundation
  • “L’autre soie” – how to avoid social segregation by Marc Uhry, Foundation Abbé Pierre & Gabrielle Sibille, Est Métropole Habitat

13.00-14.00 Lunch break

14.00-14.45 Pecha Kucha session “Cities for All in times of crisis”

Most people in Europe live in cities or aim to move to a city today. Therefore, the urban environment absorbs all effects of the societal and economic changes that happen across the continent. The new dynamics that are being shaped in the cities call for new approaches regarding the way we all live together today.

It’s not just about housing but a new concept for a holistic approach of urban living. Cities have to have enough homes, have to be inclusive, have to overcome burdens linked with the lack of resources etc. This is why depending on the context, local authorities work together with all kinds of stakeholders and come up with a variety of creative responses to the challenges of our times.

  • Maria Stratigaki, Vice Mayor for Solidarity and Social Inclusion, Athens, Greece
  • Javier Buron Cuadrado, Head of Housing Policy, Barcelona, Spain
  • Vladimir Šokman, Chairman City Council, Tartu, Estonia
  • Michaela Kauer, Head of Vienna House in Brussels 
  • Pasquale Talerico, Kalkbreite Cooperative, Zurich, Switzerland

14.45-15.00 Warm-up session “Best practices: a video collection”

  • The Housing First example from Ontario, Canada
  • Increasing poverty, inequality & segregation in European Cities by Segregation Europe
  • The Housing for All campaign by Housing Europe
  • Achieving scale in energy positive renovation, The Transition Zero initiative

15.00-16:15 Session II: Building, Construction and Finance
Moderated by Eddy Adams, URBACT Programme Expert & SIX Adviser 

The world is changing faster than the ways we provide housing. Climate change, drought, the economic osmosis, demographics and imponderables such as emerging warzones shape a new reality both for the housing sector and for the local and national authorities. Innovation in construction is now needed more than ever to address the demanding request for better homes both at faster pace and at a lower cost. What is the right mix between ground-breaking solutions, access to finance and policies to guarantee a resilient future for housing?​ 

- Dr. Christian Lieberknecht
Vice-President, GdW Germany – German Housing Federation
"Construction in Germany: Making investor’s life easier"
Johanna Ode
EU Affairs SABO, The Swedish Association of Public Housing Companies
Lowering the housing construction cost via efficient public procurement: The Kombohus scheme

- Andrea Colantonio
Senior Urban Specialist, European Investment Bank (EIB)
"Driving change through innovative finance: the success stories of the EIB"

Elena Szolgayová
Director General, DG Housing Policy and Urban Development, Chair of the UN ECE Committee on Housing and Land Management
"The State Housing Fund in Slovakia"

- Doris Andoni
General Director, National Housing Agency of Albania
"Energy efficiency in low income housing"      

- Q & A session

16.15-16.30 Stretching out break

16.30-17:45 Session III: Urban Development and Social Inclusion
Moderated by Eddy Adams, URBACT Programme Expert & SIX Adviser 

Socio-spatial segregation is the major challenge in the modern urban environment. Inequalities generate a number of issues that are linked with exclusion from decent, affordable housing, lack of education, unemployment and even radicalisation. This explosive mix has a direct effect in the communities we live in. Tackling the challenge may seem complicated but actually it only takes four steps to produce a response: mixing the housing options, offering adequate financing, empowering tenants and getting support from the EU can serve the vision of liveable communities. But is this enough?

- Blase Lambert
Chief Officer, Confederation of Cooperative Housing

- Dermot Sellars
Policy & Communications Manager, Co-operative Housing Ireland
"How Cooperatives enrichen the Housing mix and what they need to flourish"

- Sven Bergenstråhle
President of the International Union of Tenants (IUT)
"Diversifying Tenure: a bottom-up approach"

- Luigi Cuna
Evaluator, Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB)
- Samir Kulenovic
Technical Programme Manager, Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB)
"Unlocking finance for social development"

- Raquel Cortes Herrera
Deputy Head of Unit, Directorate-General Employment and Social Affairs, European Commission
"Protection of the right to housing and homelessness prevention"

- Q & A session

17.45-18:00 Wrap up session: "What are the next steps?"

David Orr
Chief Executive, The National Housing Federation, England