An article by Andres Jaadla, Chair of the Housing Europe Working Group in Support of Countries with Housing Systems in Transition.
As a Board Member of Housing Europe and Head of its Estonian Member, EKYL, I am glad to chair this Working Group which is in fact the first initiative in the history of Housing Europe to assist the countries with transition housing systems to deliver more affordable housing.
The need is very much present in Eastern and Southern countries, in particular, since they often lack dedicated institutions and financing mechanisms. Therefore, they would really benefit from help experienced professional from various fields can provide them with. That is why I am convinced that Housing Europe-with more than 30 years of experience at European level- is the best placed organisation to create such a platform of tailor-made support.
The Group that consists of housing practitioners, Ministry experts, Academia, International Financial Institutions, International organisations and independent experts is a great source of diverse knowledge that should be used.
Having started in November 2017, the Working Group can already showcase concrete and rather impactful outcomes. Let me highlight a few below:
- After organising the first meeting in Prague, in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Czech Republic continues scrutinizing the work of experienced housing providers and is already implementing Housing First schemes in several cities.
- The Working Group supported the CLDC (Cyprus Land Development Corporation) and ASBA, the National Social Housing Association of Armenia, providing advice on certain initiatives that aim to deliver an effective policy to tackle the housing needs and energy poverty.
- In cooperation with UNECE Housing and Land Management Committee, dedicated Experts from Balkan and Baltic countries also participate in the Group to further understand the local needs through exchange with their peers.
I am personally glad that beyond just support to the housing system reforms, we are now entering a new, exciting phase as the Group is now exploring the pipeline of projects that are awaiting support and is ready to provide the space for the providers and International Financial Institutors to meet and discuss the potential of financing.
The team has many more ideas for the future to better assist the delivery of affordable housing and this is why we would be happy to see even more countries fully using this opportunity.
See you at the next meeting!