Seeing around 120 key figures from the housing world during the joint annual agenda-setting event of Housing Europe and our member, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has been truly inspiring.
If we have to guide you through some of the highlights of the event, we will start with the keynote address of the Secretary-General of the OECD, Angel Gurría who clearly recognised the vital role of 'committed professionals'. He said: "As social housing providers, you were on the frontlines to ensure tenants could cope financially with the crisis. These measures have helped to avoid the worst impacts of COVID19. To build back better, we need renewed investment in the housing stock." Mr Gurría also launched a new brief under the title “Social Housing: A Key Part of Past and Future Housing Policy” that refers favourably to examples of broadly accessible social housing sectors, that have proved more resilient and financially sustainable.
Sally Thomas - CEO of SFHA - set the tone and stressed on the need for a positive new framing of our housing systems with social justice at its centre. She also welcomed us to Scotland's impressive affordable housing with a short Google Earth video that challenges misconceptions about the sector.
The President of Housing Europe, Bent Madsen pointed out the need "to put Social Justice at the heart of our housing system with affordable and social housing not a last resort but part of the mainstream, not as an afterthought, but at the heart of our housing systems in a complete re-framing exercise."
We also listened to tenants' stories about the transformational power of social housing’ in Denmark, Poland, France and Scotland. In case you missed all of that, all you need to do is click on the 'play video' button.