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International Social Housing Festival 2022 Report

A comprehensive report to get the feeling of the festival

30 June 2022 | Published in Energy, Urban, Economy, Social, Future of the EU & Housing

A city the housing world looks up to, reconnecting after almost three years of working from the screen, passion to deliver affordable and future-proof decent housing, sharing new challenges and experiences, one-to-one opportunities to re-connect, sunshine and seagulls. This was the third International Social Housing Festival (ISHF). After two years of planning, from the 14th to the 17th June 2022, it was finally showtime.

About 1,000 public, cooperative, social housing providers, city authorities, EU policymakers, bankers, urbanists, architects, and researchers came to Helsinki to celebrate smart housing policies and discuss how we can overcome the multiple challenges ahead of the sector.

The Festival explored housing as the foundation of good life. It brought together three main themes and linked the public, cooperative, social, community-led housing sector to the rest of the vast world around it, making it clear that housing can never stand on its own.

"Homes but also neighbourhoods and communities must all be part of a housing policy and we need to be closely in touch with the people living there to further develop the housing policies in our countries. In many cases and states, national social policies still fail at delivering social support to the most vulnerable. It is not only the bricks we are looking at within housing. We have to clearly understand what we are doing with social interventions when developing human infrastructure development and working on spatial planning. This is what the welfare state and housing policy need to be about and we need to see a clear connection between housing and the welfare state in times of a housing crisis," Housing Europe's President, Bent Madsen said at the opening ceremony.

Housing Europe's Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards stressed that “the Festival wakes us up about what works well and what models need to be revamped, being aware helps us to avoid accidents because mistakes in housing policy take a long time to have an impact, and getting together is an opportunity to learn and tackle challenges collectively.”

During the 2022 edition, Housing Europe led or co-organised 16 events, looking for solutions to new-age youth housing, decarbonisation, homelessness prevention, circularity, data and AI for buildings, green roofs, and responsible housing. The attendees of our sessions could also visit our stands, join a #Housing2030-proof tour, attend the Responsible Housing Awards ceremony, and watch inspiring films produced by BBC StoryWorks.

We have done our best to summarise and illustrate these exciting four days in the report below.

Enjoy the read!

Passing the Baton to Barcelona for #ISHF2023 


It is official - in 2023, the fourth International Social Housing Festival will be held from the 6th to the 9th of June in Barcelona, Spain.

Representatives of Barcelona City Council already gave a hint of what #ISHF2023 would be about. When taking over ‘the Olympic torch’, Javier Buron, the Housing Manager of City of Barcelona hinted that the housing community will necessarily witness many emerging housing models in the short future that face the challenges of today's world.

It is essential to have this global conversation and Housing Europe will accompany the ISHF2023 host, Barcelona City Council in organising another purposeful edition, bringing an international dimension and maintaining the spirit of the Festival.

Keep an eye on which will transform over the summer and let’s keep the energy and discussions going.