The Habitat III conference is the right moment for governments to put social, cooperative and public housing back at the centre of inclusive, smart and sustainable policies in our cities and regions. The ‘Housing for All’ campaign calls indeed for the co-production of policies that will bridge the gap between demand and supply of affordable homes in most European countries.
Housing Europe concludes its ‘Housing for All’ campaign and brings evidence-based proposals to the Habitat III table in Quito that make the case for affordable housing in the centre of the New Urban Agenda. The new housing related policies should be based on Flexibility, Investment and Cooperation. A global commitment drawn on these three axes may ensure that social housing providers are future proofed within a challenging context, so that can keep delivering more and better homes for all at a faster pace.
- Flexibility in rents, types of activities and housing will allow generating realistic solutions.
- Investment in various forms along with the increase of public support can put in place adequate means.
- Cooperation between social housing providers, local authorities, care and homeless service providers, private investors, construction companies and housing practitioners may generate a new participatory model of identifying and addressing the needs.
“Social housing helps people live in dignity and can maintain trust within and between communities”, said the President of Housing Europe, Marc Calon. “But new challenges such as declining government spending on housing and increasing demand for affordable homes put this model under heavy pressure. A renewed approach and commitment from policy makers is thus needed”.
Both the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon and the Executive Director of UN-Habitat and Secretary-General of Habitat III, Joan Clos underlined in their messages in light of the Global Conference on the New Urban Agenda the necessity for housing to be at the centre of the future urban policies. Indeed, the Draft Habitat III Declaration underlines the key role of public, cooperative and social housing providers for the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing for all through the supply of a variety of adequate housing options while it expresses the commitment for the promotion of affordable and sustainable housing and housing finance.
The ‘Housing for All’ campaign has illustrated the diverse positive impact of public, cooperative and social housing providers that:
- help mitigating increasing poverty and declining purchasing power
- help improve heath of their tenants by renovating their homes and adapting them to the old age
- help making better use of energy
- help integrating people in a culturally diversified society
- both generate and share local/urban growth
Housing Europe will continue making the case through its active involvement in the Housing Partnership of the Urban Agenda for the EU, a platform of cross-sectoral cooperation on urban issues across Europe, that affordable housing provision should be among the core elements of policymaking. The new reality that is being shaped in the cities we live in calls for new ways to house people. All stakeholders involved seem to realize it and to start working on their plans to deal with this need. However, implementation cannot wait…
* The Campaign recommendations will be delivered at Habitat III in Quito during the Networking Event: ‘Affordable and Adequate Housing – National Policies and International Coalition in support of Sustainable Development Goals’