Participants from Armenia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Cyprus as well as from the Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe, IWO e.V. share their experience of our Working Group in support of countries with housing systems in transition.
The need to deliver social and adequate housing is increasingly visible in many European cities and countries, especially in transition economies. This is not only a question of finance and investment. In many places there is a lack of institutions and organizations that can efficiently direct productive means towards responsible housing investments. This requires the help of professionals and experts from a variety of fields. Housing Europe, the international reference point for housing policy expertise took the initiative to respond to the above needs, putting together a Working Group to support countries with housing systems in transition.
Ahead of the upcoming 4th gathering of the Group that will take place with the support of the Council of Europe Development Bank in Tallinn, hosted by EKYL, we have asked three of the participants in previous meetings to share what is the added value their involvement brought and may bring to their national objectives.
Ara Nazinyan, Executive Director of ASBA, Armenia
We view the Ad hoc Working Group as an excellent move by Housing Europe to have a dedicated forum to discuss issues connected with specific housing needs in transition countries. This successful experiment deserves a solid future. We hope that the group will become a permanent structure of Housing Europe, thus giving a signal for long-term commitment and continued focus on supporting new members. The Group can become more action oriented structure, providing not only a place for discussions, but also creating opportunities for network activities, peer-to-peer capacity building, joint projects and source of fresh ideas and vision for the Federation.
Jan Zlonický, Project Guarantor of Social Housing Support Project, Czech Republic
A generation after the transition to democracy, some issues, social housing among them, still remained unaddressed on the systemic level. When the decision was made to change this, we gladly took the opportunity to learn and share experience with others and joined the Working Group.
Since then, we’ve learned many lessons and gained invaluable contacts. This allowed us to elevate our local social housing projects to a higher standard and even provided us with the means to have experts from all across Europe provide their expert opinions and give talk during our Social Housing conference in November 2018.
Alenka Kern, Head of Department at The Housing found, Slovenia
The Housing Fund of Republic of Slovenia serving the interest of the state, covers the territory of the whole state and in accordance with its business policy finances and implements the national housing programme, promotes house building, renewal and maintenance of flats. The key aim is to provide housing security and a long-term provision of quality of life for the whole population therefore Fund's goals are to increase the number of public rental homes, through the construction of new housing units, to increase the accessibility of public rental homes and to encourage renovation of the current housing fund.
Knut Höller, Managing Director, and Saskia Lührs, Head of Communications, Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe (IWO e.V.)
Our NGO has been dealing with the transformation of the housing sector in Eastern Europe since 2001 and we highly appreciate Housing Europe’s initiative to address and call attention to the regions’ concerns in the field of housing. Warsaw or Budapest are not further away from Brussels than Paris or Madrid and the need to spark and intensify a more comprehensive dialogue in Europe on housing and its social and socio-economic implications is stronger than ever. Also, the concept of social housing is yet underrepresented in the region and both, awareness of its relevance and acceptance among the population, need to be raised. Multilateral formats like the Ad-hoc Working Group are a major contribution in this context and can help build sustainable structures across Europe that are crucial for eventually achieving European and global energy and climate protection goals.
Marios Pelekanos, President of the Cyprus Land Development Corporation
The Working Group Housing Systems in Transition creates opportunities for exchanging valued expertise and knowledge from esteemed professionals within the Housing Europe Members. Mutual learning, exchange of experience and best practices have greatly benefited our Organization so far towards its mission in providing good quality, affordable social housing in Cyprus.
Keep up the good work!