Housing Europe has compiled a circular with an update on financial resources being made available to members in view of the radical rise in energy prices and the housing emergency resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In parallel, to respond to ongoing urgent policy adaptations to help Europe handle this crisis we are consulting Members on 1) the impact of the rise in energy costs on residents in their homes, 2) impact on their renovation and construction activities, 3) mobilisation to house migrants and monitoring.
These are urgent matters which need to be dealt with in the immediate term, however, in the mid term attention is also turning to reconstruction after the massive devastation we are now witnessing.
To support the people of Ukraine, affordable housing needs to be a part of any reconstruction project. As part of the contribution to the efforts to support those rebuilding their lives in Ukraine, Housing Europe proposes to offer support to the EU, CEB, EIB and UNECE efforts to contribute to Ukraine post war rebuilding in the area of housing.
The SDGs can provide global principles for Ukraine’s Recovery Plan, and #Housing2030 can provide policy tools and good practice illustrations to inform efforts in the housing and urban realm, and multi-level governance and city diplomacy can provide a platform to empower Ukrainian governments, including municipalities through civil society engagement, peer-to-peer solidarity, knowledge exchange, and long-term partnerships.
Existing technical assistance in the field of housing
At the request of the Ukrainian government, an international and national team developed a UNECE Country Profile on Land and Housing Management and made the following recommendations in 2013, These recommendations included promotion of not for profit housing providers to ensure an alternative and balance market choices, Consideration of co-operative and social housing legislation and regulation and expand range of affordable housing types and tenures state strategy for housing renovation and repair.
The extensive devastation to housing makes these recommendations even more relevant in the reconstruction stage. A more active role similar to cities in post WWII Europe with institutional capacity building will be needed. If people do not have homes to return to, they will not be able to contribute to the economic recovery.
Proposal to the European Commission
Housing Europe would like to propose to the European Commission DG NEAR a team of experts to advise Ukraine on inclusion of social/affordable housing in cities reconstruction keeping in mind the above principles and based on the joint UNECE/UN-Habitat/Housing Europe #Housing2030 initiative.
Housing Europe Members and partners could offer technical co-operation relating to
- Institutions and capacity building: a dedicated social and affordable housing agency – e.g. ARA Finnish State housing fund, Wohnfond, Dutch Housing Fund
- Models of social and affordable housing provision: from cost rent associations to tenant managed co-operative models of housing provision, regionalised program design for revolving funds supporting renovation, multi-tenure housing investment and shared equity rental housing associations, non-for-profit housing legislation, implementation
- Models of rental markets involving fair rent setting, balanced tenant-landlord agreements, resident management and involvement Germany, rent setting, Sweden, rental agreements, Denmark – tenant democracy, Estonia – legal, technical and training capacity block-based homeowner associations and renovation of former soviet blocks, Latvia – efforts in tenant involvement, support
- Approaches to setting, monitoring and enforcing quality, safety and energy efficiency residential building standards for housing.
- Maintenance strategies for former Soviet Housing, learning with Slovakia, Slovenia and Estonia – on long term governance for funding, maintenance and renovation, energy efficiency and retrofitting Modular building for rapid, affordability and energy efficiency.