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European Responsible Housing Awards 2019

Submit your projects & join dozens of innovators across Europe

Brussels, 7 December 2018 | Published in Energy, Urban, Economy, Social
European Responsible Housing Awards 2019! Submit your projects now!

Recently we have seen how changing demographic trends, a rise in inequality and populism, increasing consequences of climate change, concerns over structural safety, are changing the political, social, infrastructural and environmental landscapes, including housing. Housing and how (and, indeed, where) we live will be a decisive factor in the shaping of our future(s), and so remains fundamental. Our aim is that the exemplary and innovative ideas and best practices that are already happening on-the-ground and that will be showcased at the European Responsible Housing Awards 2019 will be a part of these conversations and developments | DEADLINE: 28 February 2019

What began in 2014 as an EU-funded funded initiative focussing on Corporate Social Responsibility within the social and affordable housing sector, has now transformed into a unique opportunity for public, social and cooperative housing providers to participate in a Europe-wide competition and demonstrate accomplishments, innovations and best practices under five diverse award categories. Explore where your initiative would fit best below:

1. Fair financing for housing affordability

In short: Sustainable investment that ensures cost effectiveness and  balancing of the level of services provided, related costs and how far current and prospective tenants/residents can afford them - can minimise housing costs as well as mitigating real estate speculation.

How does your organisation contribute to more stable housing markets? What does your organisation do to support responsible procurement practices as well as local economic growth and employment?

This could mean: financial blending, hybrid sources of funding from state, communities, markets and the third sector (housing associations); cross-subsidisation of developments; considering the social nature of procurement policies and supply chains, not only the economic nature; measuring and monitoring the social impact of financial investments; employing local population.

Previous winners include:

Trivallis – Wales (formerly: RCT Homes) increasing the organisation’s contribution to local regeneration by supporting local enterprises and local employment.

First Ark England – “Advantage”,  an extensive tenant reward and support package, which assisted tenants in their personal and professional lives.

2. “More than a roof” – supporting communities of equal opportunities

In short: Ensuring decent, affordable housing, and that will remain so in the future, is key to avoiding social and spatial segregation and promoting social cohesion in neighbourhoods.

How is your organisation extending the initial mission to provide “more than a roof”? How does your organisation guarantee fair access to housing and related services as well as meeting the diversity of households’ needs?

This could mean: adapting existing dwellings for independent living for older people; improving access to housing for youth while linking them up with civil society organisations; innovative mediation strategies or services; dementia-friendly housing developments; co-creation of new apartment block by designers, builders and future residents; housing for refugees involving the participation and support of the existing local community.

Previous winners include:  

Eigen Haard (Netherlands), for enhancing Amsterdam’s neighbourhoods.

ECO-Life Venning, Goedkope Woning (Belgium, Flanders), using a coordinated and collaborative approach to transform a previously disadvantaged area into a sustainable and socially engaged neighbourhood.

3. Leading innovation, agents of fair energy transition

In short: Through innovative, sustainable construction and retrofitting, and to the highest standard possible within the financial means available, housing associations and tenants/residents can reduce the environmental footprint of housing stock.

What is your organisation and tenants doing to, not only safeguard our environment and natural resources, but to actively offer alternative and sustainable ways of producing, consuming and living?

This could mean: constructing or retro-fitting energy efficient, low-impact, nearly-zero, green, low-energy, passive, etc. housing; participating in the circular economy; promoting the development of green spaces and infrastructure; developing technological and social innovations; engaging in advocacy and awareness-raising.

Previous winners include:

la Société Dauphinoise pour l’Habitat (France), for renovating buildings at zero cost for tenants.

ICF Habitat La Sablière (France), providing an innovative coupling to tackle energy precariousness.

4. Building strategic alliances, fostering community collaboration

In short: “No one is an island” and certainly, no (responsible) housing association works in isolation. Good communication and transparency on how and why decisions are taken, between housing associations, local authorities, tenants/residents and other stakeholders, can ensure fairer and more effective collaborations.

What does your organisation do to support greater stakeholder engagement?

How does your organisation help tenants/residents in strengthening institutional and structured participation? 

This could mean: actively working with tenants’ associations and organisations; developing tools, both digital and non, in which to aid in communication or collaboration; real effort to engage in stakeholder interests, expectations and feedback, via interviews, reporting and dissemination; interdisciplinary and multisectoral projects.

Previous winners include:  

DAB (Denmark) for effective residential democracy.

Shepherd’s Bush Housing Group (UK) and their “Big Conversation”

5. Empowering the team, addressing employees’ changing needs

In short: Fair labour practices in a healthy, safe and positive work environment that actively promotes equality and diversity is an essential starting point for the personal and professional development of employees.

What does your organisation do to ensue a good work-life balance for employees? What type of mentoring, training and learning opportunities exist?

This could mean: Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), vocational or skills training programmes; comprehensive employee development policies; support for work-life balance e.g. teleworking, facilitating staff volunteering in civil society; health and wellbeing initiatives in the workplace.

Previous winners include:

Habitat 62/59 Picardie (France) for ensuring safety at work in an innovative way.

Gewobag WohnungsbauAktiengesellschaft Berlin (Germany) providing vocational training – key factor for successful inclusion of refugees.