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The German State of North Rhine-Westphalia joins the European Responsible Housing Initiative

Housing Minister Michael Groschek signs the European Declaration

Brussels, 24 February 2015 | Published in Economy, Social
Minister Groschek signs the declaration
Minister Groschek signs the declaration

The Ministry of Construction, Housing, City Development and Traffic of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia joins the list of supporters of the European Responsible Housing Declaration.

The Declaration has been one of the key outcomes of the European Responsible Housing Initiative (ERHIN) that was launched by Delphis, Housing Europe, and the International Union of Tenants in 2013, building a broad network of partners that are implementing CSR strategies within the affordable housing sector creating thus responsible housing.  

This written commitment of numerous housing stakeholders across Europe aims at the implementation of CSR principles in the affordable housing sector. This means creating social value through: long term investment in affordable rental housing, residents’ participation and close cooperation with local authorities, responsible human resources management, increasing energy efficiency in buildings while ensuring affordability for residents.

The list of signatories so far includes among others the State of Scotland, the City of Vienna, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the European Housing Network (EURHONET), Habitat for Humanity, Solidar as well as national federations of housing providers and tenants unions across Europe (for the full list).

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Housing Minister Michael Groschek outlines the main reasons that led NRW to support this broad partnership:

“As North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister for Building and Housing I welcome the expressed intentions and explicitly subscribe to this Declaration. The statements made correspond in many points already today with the policy objectives in North Rhine-Westphalia.
We need a socially balanced housing policy to provide people also in the future with sufficient affordable and quality accommodation, especially in booming urban areas. Therefore I call upon the housing providers to join the ambitions of this Declaration."

Barbara Steenbergen (IUT), chair of the stakeholder forum, underlines the importance of this development:

"It is a milestone that NRW, a State of 18 million inhabitants, joins the ERHIN initiative. The pillars of ERHIN are tenant participation, affordability of newly constructed or retrofitted housing and the commitment for long-term investment in not-for-profit rental housing. The NRW commitment is an important step towards more residential democracy and a responsible social housing policy.”