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The European Responsible Housing Awards 2022: the finalists for Helsinki announced!

23 projects with a mission

Brussels, 26 April 2022 | Published in Future of the EU & Housing

For the 4th edition of the European Responsible Housing Awards, the joint initiative of Housing Europe, the International Union of Tenants (IUT), and DELPHIS, we have received 70 submissions across five categories from 20 countries, and so, deciding on five winners and the finalists was a challenging task for the Jury. We are delighted to announce the finalists of this year’s European Responsible Housing Awards.

The jury – consisting of 15 housing experts European Commission, the European Investment Bank, Tenants Unions, Urbanists, European Cities, chaired by Barbara Steenbergen, the Head of the EU office of the International Union of Tenants, was delighted to evaluate such a large variety of projects from all over Europe. 

“I was looking for the possible transfer of knowledge and experience between Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe. It has always fascinated me to see the synergies and possible learning between different regions,” György Sumeghy, Associate Director of Habitat for Humanity said.

Dr. Melanie Weber-Moritz, Managing Director of the German Union of Tenants underlined that “those projects that can combine social and sustainability aspects should receive many votes”.

Maja Staleska, President of the Housing and Tenants Organization, Macedonia acknowledged the work of the European Responsible Housing Awards organisers, saying that “this is the way to initiate and motivate more positive change when it comes to housing and tenants’ rights.”

Marie Linder, President of the International Union of Tenants invited all those who are interested in inspiring and innovative affordable housing projects from all over Europe to come to Helsinki and meet the finalists and winners contributing to the future of housing.

The ceremony will be held during the 3rd International Social Housing Festival and will take place on 16 June, from 17:00 to 20.30 EET at Helsinki's Central Library Oodi, room Maijansali, together with a party and a networking opportunity to wrap up the event. 

Please register here.

Meet the FINALISTS of the 4th European Responsible Housing Awards, 2022:

Finalists of the category “Fair financing for housing affordability”

Apartments for Graduates, Poznan

As more and more European cities face housing challenges, incentivising young people to stay is becoming increasingly difficult. This is why Poznań Social Housing Association (PTBS) decided to create an affordable housing programme “Apartments for graduates” which would respond to the needs of university graduates.

City of Tuzla

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are many different vulnerable groups which, due to the political and economic situation, may include a large population, such as disadvantaged workers or people affected by the war. Since until recently there was no coordinated policy for social housing management, a non-profit social housing project was created in the City of Tuzla, to replace the temporary settlement that was in place for more than 25 years.

Svartlamon, Trondheim

Since the public housing in Norway is market-based, and the social housing sector is almost non-existent, a group of tenants created a housing association in the nineties. Renting housing units to around 250 tenants, the Svartlamon boligstiftelse organization cultivates a strong democratic culture, and the tenants themselves contribute by building eco-friendly houses.

Yes, We Rent! - Leveraging vacant private property to build up a cooperative affordable housing scheme, Mataró

“Lloguem!/ Yes We Rent” tackles a dramatic lack of affordable rental housing. It is a project that aims to explore solutions based on the social and cooperative economy to generate an alternative supply of affordable and stable housing in the city of Mataró, Spain. The project also tests an original organisational model of a tenant’s cooperative, drawing on the empowerment and self-management potential of cooperatives.


Finalists of the category “More than a roof – supporting communities of equal opportunities”

Achtercairn, Gairloch: Regenerating A Rural Highland Community

Communities across the Highlands have suffered depopulation, loss of services, challenges of increasing tourism and house prices and consequent loss of existing housing stock and increased pressure on remaining businesses and services. The small village of about 750 inhabitants benefits from a community-led development tailored to local and long-term needs coordinated by the Communities Housing Trust (CHT).

Effective right to housing: an innovative experience of Housing First in the Principality of Asturias- Oviedo

The main objective of the project is to eradicate homelessness in the Asturias region, ensuring public dwellings for homeless people, and guaranteeing their right to housing, by signing the rental contract and becoming real tenants. This initiative of VIPASA started with the creation of the Permanent Working Group on Public Housing. A political commitment from the Asturias government is to increase every year the number of necessary dwellings.

New Dolphin Park- A regeneration project focusing on a community ageing in place, Dublin

Fold Housing’s objective is to provide affordable homes and enable residents to age and thrive in their communities. Fold Housing is committed to supporting our tenants to age in place, which means having the ability to live in one’s home and community safely, independently, and comfortably regardless of age, income, or ability level. The New Dolphin Park benefits from a regeneration scheme that was built and designed by local people and prospective tenants, with their views in mind, not profit.

Permanent affordable housing for elderly homeless people, Budapest

The project is one of the recent initiatives by the Municipality of Budapest aimed at providing permanent, affordable housing to formerly homeless persons. The formerly homeless pensioners will have access to small, high-quality public rental units. The initiative also provides social work support to ease the transition from mostly long periods – sometimes decades – of homelessness to independent living.

ToM – Tolerantes Miteinander (“living together in tolerance”), Berlin

As Berlin is growing and housing needs evolve, the ToM housing project of DEGEWO aims to show an innovative way to integrate refugees. To replace the short-term solution of shelters, the goal was to develop a future-proof urban concept with mixed-use new residential construction that actively supports the integration of refugees through alternative offerings and that is marked in particular by the early inclusion of future users and neighbours.


Finalists of the category “Leaders of innovation, agents of fair energy transition”

Bertelotte student residence: Bio-based transformation of office space into student accommodation, Paris

Student accommodation is a very important matter that requires innovative solutions. This is why Paris Habitat in partnership with CROUS, took on the project of transforming an office building into a student residence of 139 units using bio-based materials and applying circular economy principles. The transformation of the building into the Bertelotte student residence was the opportunity for Paris Habitat to innovate in terms of construction practices and to contribute to the achievement of its climate commitments.

Comprehensive renovation of the S. José neighbourghood in Lada, Langreo

As a result of the construction rules in the sixties (very poor requirements in terms of isolation and energy efficiency), buildings and dwellings were suffering important damages. Another important aspect for the Government of the Principality of Asturias was to address was the low accessibility standards, essential for the majority of tenants, mostly elderly people, over sixty. This is why the renovation process of the San José neighbourhood substantially improved the overall quality of life for the residents.

Fabra & Coats & Social Housing, Barcelona

The project of the Barcelona city council together with Roldán Berengué architects includes social housing in the regeneration of an industrial heritage site. The preservation of architectural heritage is not incompatible with the achievement of social and environmental objectives. Urban recycling can be an ally in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda and the European Green Deal.

The eco-village des Noés project in Val de Reuil, Evreux

The eco-Village des Noés is part of the wish for sustainable urban development. This project by Siloge consists of 98 passive housing, various services and facilities dedicated to the population. Part of a plan envisaged in the 1970s, the town was never fully developed. Now the objective is to put the social dimension at its core and allow a way of living more respectful for the planet.

 Deep Energy Retrofit of the Vogelweelde Neighbourhood, Halle

After multiple smaller renovation projects focusing on individual parts of the envelope such as windows and doors or roofs as instructed, Woonpunt Zennevallei decided to focus on a full energetic renovation. There was a need for a solution that brought together design, works, quality control, and verification of the energy performance and energy savings. There was also a strong need to fully involve the residents.


Finalists of the category  ”Building strategic alliances, fostering community participation”

City of Barcelona's Framework Agreement towards a Community Land Trust

 Barcelona is one of the most competitive cities in terms of housing prices. Barcelona’s Framework Agreement between the City and the social and cooperative housing sector seeks to increase the supply of permanently affordable housing in the city while developing a shared governance structure that allows for increased resident involvement in the design and management of the housing stock. So far, it has already allocated 14 plots of land or buildings to be renovated, accounting for 567 housing units.

Empowering tenants to co-create a strategic urban transformation, Aalborg

Himmerland Boligforening believes that renovations alone are not enough to change a city district. That is why the tenants were made co-creators, to contribute to attracting new residents. The physical renovation included an extensive renovation of a total of 1.100 residences spread over three main roads. In relation to sustainability, up to 50% reduction in energy use was attained after the renovation, which benefits both the environment but also the tenants’ bills and the indoor climate.

Llar Casa Bloc, homes for inclusion, Barcelona

Fundació Hàbitat3 conducts the rehabilitation of the former nursing home in Casa Bloc. Two floors of the building have been transformed and adapted to the new housing needs of people assisted by social organizations. 26 people live now at Llar Casa Bloc, who were at risk of social exclusion due to eviction, homelessness, domestic violence, mental and physical handicap or mental health or substance abuse issues and have specialised assistance and support from various social organizations to address their housing and living needs.

Milano 2035 - The Youth Housing Coalition

The aim of the project, initiated by Fondazione DAR Cesare Scarponi Onlus, is to support the right to housing at affordable prices for students and workers under 35, offering a new way of living based on sharing and solidarity between neighbours. The network of non-profit organisations comprises 22 housing projects, divided into individual residences/buildings or spread over wider areas, for a total of some 300 beds.

Villaggio Gandusio, Bologna

Social conflict within a housing complex can negatively impact the housing quality and liveability of the entire neighbourhood system. For this reason, the Municipality of Bologna started a project that integrated not only physical but above all social regeneration, to restore the dignity of living and positive relationships between people in the Via Gandusio settlement.


Finalists of the category “Going the extra mile in extraordinary circumstances”

A Housing Body’s response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, Dublin

The Syrian refugee crisis needs inclusive housing solutions. As Ireland was already confronted with a housing crisis of its own, an urgent solution needed to be found. Co-operative Housing Ireland (CHI) supported the identification and preparation of suitable homes for refugees using its expertise as a housing NGO and knowledge of the Irish housing landscape.

Community Start Up Path - Digital Edition, Milano

Inhabitants of social housing need to build connections and relations among them. Fondazione Housing Sociale stepped up and initiated ‘Community Start Up Path’ to allow residents to contribute to creating the common spaces they need. When the Covid-19 crisis started, a digital alternative has been implemented.  

Prague Humanitarian Hotels

Homeless people are one of the most vulnerable groups, especially during the height of the pandemic. The solution found by the City of Prague was to set up humanitarian hotels, where clients could benefit from social and medical services. This contributed to avoiding further infections and providing help in case of need. Furthermore, the social aspect has a role to combat the negative effects of long-term homelessness.

Arriving Home. A sustainable initiative on combatting homelessness in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wien

“Arriving Home” brings together the Austrian limited-profit housing sector and the social service sector. The housing sector is represented by GBV, the Austrian Federation of Limited-Profit Housing Associations. Due to the financial consequences of the Covid-19 crisis, many more people became vulnerable to homelessness. The project solves this issue by financing tenants’ upfront contributions and allocating apartments in a participatory way.

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For more info please contact:

Andreea Nacu,

Iman El Alami,