In mid-March, social, cooperative, and public housing providers from north, south, east and west parts of the EU were again in Brussels for Housing Europe's bi-annual meetings with members to debate how to face new and old challenges linked to housing affordability, decarbonisation, investment, inclusion and more.
EU Housing Ministers' historical meeting ended with a unanimously adopted declaration that commits to building and investing in affordable housing and Housing Europe was the only non-institutional organisation in Nice, our Secretary-General reminded. Our netwrok will also keep an eye on how national plans will materialise, especially when it comes to renovation, tackling homelessness, circularity, digitalisation, overcoming energy poverty and other key areas in which EU countries have decided to invest Next Generation EU funds. Read our first analysis here.
Housing Europe's Observatory also looked at some of the most urgent challenges in front of the sector - the rising cost of materials and house price inflation; lack of skilled workforce; higher cost of living driven by energy costs; continouos rent increase and very importantly, the even bigger demand for affordable housing with people fleeing Ukraine.
We had on board Olga Martinez from European Commission's Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion who emphasised that she sees the Housing Europe network being actively engaged and committed to making the EU Platform on Combating Homelessness a success through capacity building, optimising success for Housing First, and the Housing Solutions Platform, the joint initiative with FEANTSA and Abbé Pierre.
To wrap up the meetings as we used to do before the pandemic, we headed to a study visit. Welcomed by Housing Europe's Brussels member, SLRB at Archiducs, in the southern part of the city, members and partners had a taste of how the former so-called garden cities look like today. Tenants are a stone's throw away from a nursery and medical services, there is one biking slot per person, and the building is with a label A.
Watch this video about Archiducs-Sud and see some of the photos we took below.