Making a house a home
By Housing Europe
The Housing Europe podcast airing from the heart of the European Capital offers insights into the work of public, cooperative and social housing providers across Europe. Why is it legitimate to claim that they offer more than just housing; rather a home to people. Tune in to discover the urban, social, environmental and economic impact that access to affordable housing has in our communities.
The social housing in the Netherlands that produces more energy than it consumes
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges that we are facing today. Science has brought us far and we know that reducing greenhouse gas emissions to achieve a just transition to a low-carbon and energy-efficient built environment will be vital. But this entails another challenge. How can we get there, while also ensuring access to decent, quality, future-proof affordable housing? The energy and building sector have an important role to play in progressing towards a low-carbonsociety. Part of the answer could be the development of neighbourhoods that produce at least as much renewable energy as they use in a year in different climates, contexts and markets in Europe. In a Sustainable Plus Energy Neighbourhood, the geographical boundary is expanded to the entire site of the neighbourhood. This will be possible by using innovative solutions and focusing on encouraging resident engagement. The EU-funded Horizon2020 project, syn.ikia that Housing Europe and social housing providers from the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, as well as private real estate in Norway are part of is offering solutions in this direction. Led by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the project syn.ikia has been expanding the know-how of the sector and fast-tracking innovation to mitigate the energy crisis. In this podcast show, Housing Europe's communication team tuned straight from our 2022 Renovation Summit that took place in Brussels to speak with a Dutch social housing provider, care provider and tenants who are experiencing what is it to build and live in Sustainable Plus Energy Neighbourhood. The Dutch pilot is located in Loopkanstraat, Uden, a typical mid-size town in the Netherlands representing a marine climate which means that summers are rather cool and the winters are generally mild. The demo is constructing new add-ons to existing buildings and with syn.ikia’s strategy, the neighbourhood will reach the plus energy standards. This can be replicated in similar neighbourhoods in the Netherlands and other comparable contexts in Europe. The construction was finalised in May 2022, allowing tenants to move in. Area housing corporation lets approximately 8.500 homes in Uden, Veghel and the surrounding villages. It is a partner for people that depend on a housing corporation for their accommodation: people on low incomes, starters, residence permit holders and people with a disability. Labyrinth Care & Work / Connect Living is offering guidance to (young) adults with a mental and/or mild intellectual disability. The ambassadors are tenants who accompany neighbours who may need care &contributes to a pleasant living environment and promotes social interaction. Today’s interviewees will walk us through what a Sustainable Plus Energy Neighbourhood means from different perspectives: social housing provider, care provider organisation and the tenants themselves. What challenges were met along the way? What does it take to adapt to such an environment? Let’s get started.
December 13, 2022
Fair circularity in affordable homes put into practice
It has now been three years since Housing Europe embarked on a special journey – to increase circularity in social and affordable homes, by bringing renovation techniques, recycling, and upcycling to a new level while preserving affordability and fairness. While we have seen multiple public, cooperative, and social housing providers implement circular models, we are now referring to Housing Europe’s partnership in the EU Horizon 2020 funded HOUSEFUL project, which has at its core the aim to increase the use of circular building and renovation techniques. My name is Diana Yordanova and you are with another episode of ‘Making a house a home’, the podcast show of Housing Europe where we bring the vision of more than 43,000 public, cooperative, and social housing providers whose main goal is to ensure that people relying on modest incomes can also live in decent, affordable homes. One way of doing that is, of course, circularity and making the best out of buildings’ waste. Together with various partners within the EU-funded Houseful project, we are doing this by testing and developing new circular housing solutions in four demo sites in Spain and Austria. This includes social housing buildings of Neues Leben from Vienna and Agencia de L'Habitatge de Catalunya based in Barcelona. With the help of Housing Europe’s research coordinator, Dara Turnbull we are going to hear from representatives from two of those demo sites - the Cambium Community, a new eco-village concept, and Neues Leben, a limited-profit housing association. In the next few minutes, they are explaining a little bit about the circular solutions that are being tested, and also why these new approaches can help to provide cheaper and more sustainable homes to social housing tenants. If you are curious to know more about Houseful, you can check out the website www.houseful.eu. You can also contact us directly at Housing Europe at email@example.com Enjoy.
August 09, 2022
Taming mortgage markets can make homes more affordable
Cheap money is gold for private housing investors, and central banks have a big role to play in directing money flows. This is one of the key messages from our previous podcast episode that focused on how central banks are affecting our access to decent, affordable housing. Of course, we know that many more players are involved and responsible for the housing situation we observe in different locations. Today, we will be getting closer to the action and zeroing in on the role of mortgage banks and how these financial institutions are regulated in a way that influences housing affordability – for better or worse. Has there been too much reliance on debt? Does the easier access to mortgages mean that more people have become homeowners? What can regulators do and what has been the role of investment flows? Many interesting questions to which we are providing the answers today. You are with ‘Making a house a home’ and the 3rd episode of our “Tools to tame financialisation” podcast season which is part of the #Housing2030 initiative led by the European Federation of public, cooperative, and social housing providers known as Housing Europe, UNECE and UN-Habitat. I am Diana Yordanova and these new episodes are kindly supported by the Irish Research Council and the Irish Council of Social Housing. Once again, I will be joined by the lead writer of the #Housing2030 report, Dr Julie Lawson from RMIT University and Professor Michelle Norris from University College Dublin who was the main mind behind the chapter about sustainable finance. You will hear many of the seasoned experts from episode 2 who also have a say on how we could ensure that mortgages are not hampering access to affordable homes. Our next discussion on the topic will be in real life. On 15th June, Housing Europe, UNECE, and UN-Habitat will be at the third International Social Housing Festival in Helsinki, Finland. We are hoping to see some of you, our listeners at Helsinki City Hall and to hear your view on how we could tackle the commodification of housing collectively. You can still register for the event at the official website of the Festival - www.socialhousingfestival.eu Tell us if you are coming via the #Housing2030 hashtag.
May 30, 2022
Central banks influence money flows - have they got their current role right?
Money makes the world go around and central banks supposedly keep it flowing. However, should they also ensure it flows in the right direction? Central banks aim at promoting financial stability and could promote sustainable development that includes investment in affordable, inclusive, decarbonised housing. They could also create the perfect storm and promote borrowing, indebtedness, offering cheap money to big investors, creating real estate inflation, unaffordability, and as recent history remembers create housing booms and busts. You are with ‘Making a house a home’, I am your host, Diana Yordanova and this is the second podcast episode of #Housing2030 – the initiative led by the European Federation of public, cooperative, and social housing providers, UNECE, and UN-Habitat. This new season is kindly supported by the Irish Research Council and the Irish Council of Social Housing. We continue to dismantle financialisation and to search for tools that could tame it together with the lead writer of the #Housing2030 report, Dr Julie Lawson from RMIT University, and Professor Michelle Norris from University College Dublin who also wrote the chapter on better, sustainable finance that results in more affordable housing. To discuss the role of central banks, we have met with seasoned experts, advocates, decision-makers literally from all around the world – Brussels, London, Strasbourg, Groningen, Auckland, Ottawa, and Hong Kong. Professor Laurence Murphy, Human Geography at the University of Auckland, New Zealand Professor Dirk Bezemer, Finance, monetary economics, growth and development at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands Alicia Garcia Herrero, Chief economist for Asia Pacific and Bruegel Institute, formerly European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund Dr Josh Ryan-Collins, a Senior Research Fellow in Economics and Finance at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose in London Stefan Zeugner, macroeconomist expert, Directorate‑General of the European Commission for Economic and Financial Affairs Kim van Sparrentak, Member of the European Parliament, the Greens (Netherlands) Leilani Farha, Founder of 'The Shift' and former UN Rapporteur on the Right to Housing Enjoy! As usual, we invite you to keep in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the #Housing2030 hashtag. Make sure to come back to our channel in a few weeks from now when we will take a deep dive into the world of mortgage market regulation and how we can make it better.
April 29, 2022
In search of tools that tame financialisation
Where did we leave the conversation last time? After our 12 #Housing2030 podcast episodes about affordable housing that is mindful of climate sustainability, responsible land policy, better governance and finance were listened about 2,400 times, we launched the long-awaited “#Housing2030: Effective policies for affordable housing in the UNECE region”. The study that was led by Housing Europe, UNECE, and UN-Habitat draws on the experience of over 100 researchers, policymakers and housing providers from across the UNECE region and beyond, to define useful approaches, outline their advantages and disadvantages, and illustrate how smart affordable housing solutions can be applied locally. A compilation of over 160 tried and tested practices were in the hands of UNECE Housing Ministers on 6th October 2021 in the UN Headquarters in Geneva and just a month later, the publication made it to COP26 in Glasgow. However, the work is far from being done. The #Housing2030 report set just the beginning of very big questions that we felt obliged to come back to. So, we are embarking on a real journey to address the elephant in the room when it comes to housing affordability – the financialisation of housing and what are the tools that could tame it. Why are we choosing exactly this topic? The facts speak for themselves. Home ownership in many countries is declining and so is social housing. More are being forced to rent. Home prices and rent have risen dramatically throughout the pandemic and the IMF cautions that private investors are increasingly active in the real estate market. This podcast is a joint effort with the UNECE and UN Habitat, we are also grateful for the support from Irish Research Council and Irish Council for Social Housing who is a member of Housing Europe. I am Diana Yordanova, and in this new season of our #Housing2030 podcasts, I would like to do things a bit more differently. I am welcoming back two extremely knowledgeable researchers, the lead writer of the #Housing2030 report, Dr Julie Lawson who is an international researcher in housing systems at RMIT University Australia and Dr Michelle Norris, Professor of Social Policy at University College Dublin, who played a key role in the Housing2030 report, especially chapters on finance and governance. This time, they will be back-to-back with me addressing questions to influential decision makers about how can housing be looked not as a commodity but as a human right. We must build more effective critical capacities to address the harmful causes of financialisaton. This is why, we will do our best to enhance knowledge about the policy design, implementation outcomes and how different financial flows and housing outcomes can be achieved. Tune in for this new season of #Housing2030 podcasts.
March 24, 2022
Le logement social: un véritable terrain d'innovation
[FR] Le logement social est souvent considéré comme un laboratoire d'innovation sociale et environnementale. Ce podcast qui nous amènera à quelques kilomètres des bureaux de Housing Europe le prouvera. Alors restez avec nous, car nous allons dans le sud de la Belgique, la région wallonne. Notre membre, la Société wallonne du Logement (SWL) nous guidera à travers leurs défis comme par exemple rénover les logements tout en les gardant abordables, opter pour des solutions à plus faible impact environnemental dont l'emploi de matériaux biosourcés. SWL fait également une brève rétrospective des 8 dernières années depuis le lancement du projet Housing First dans le pays - ce qui a été réalisé et ce qu’ils devraient encore viser. Plus important, cet épisode est une invitation officielle à un échange d'idées et d'expériences. Ce podcast est le tout premier épisode de 'Making a house a home' en français et dans celui-ci, on a le plaisir de discuter avec le porte-parole de SWL, Daniel Pollain. [EN] Social housing is often considered to be a laboratory where social and environmental innovation is taking place. This podcast which will bring us just a few kilometres from Housing Europe's headquarters will prove this. Stay with us, we are bringing you to the south of Belgium or the Walloon region where our member, Societe Wallonne du Logement (SWL) walks us through the major challenges they are experiencing locally in their mission to renovate homes while keeping them affordable, their journey towards circularity and more sustainable materials. SWL also makes a short retrospection of the past 8 years since the Housing First project had kicked off in the country - what has been achieved and what should we be aiming at. Most importantly, this episode is an official invite for an exchange of ideas and experiences. You are with the very first episode of 'Making a house a home' in French and in it, we have the pleasure to be talking to the spokesperson of SWL, Daniel Pollain. How does the fair energy transition translate into your work? How are you and your tenants going through the economic and social recovery? What are the emerging housing needs in your country? Housing Europe would be glad to tour around the continent and hear the latest updates from public, cooperative and social housing providers. If you would like to share with us your story, drop us a message at email@example.com
July 16, 2021
Investing right in housing systems in transition
Well-functioning housing systems can be easy to grasp and build upon. At the same time, developing housing systems in transition or even starting from zero is not a given. It takes political will, dedication, time, adequate and targeted investment to ensure that communities in our cities and rural areas have decent, quality homes allowing them to focus on bigger goals in life. In this episode, we are meeting virtually Grzegorz Gajda from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to discuss how long-term and well-planned sustainable finance can result in healthy, financially sound housing that works for the society at large. If you want to hear more from the EIB and the work it does on housing, join the next Housing 2030 conference ‘Shaping investment pathways to deliver affordable housing’ on 14th April. Last-minute registrations are possible on www.housingeurope.eu and www.housing2030.org. A good land policy, the idea of the 15-minute city, how to manage a successful renovation, improving the cities we live in, the fundamental ‘building blocks’ of good housing governance, the Finnish model, diverse funding and combatting financialisation. The list of the previous Housing 2030 podcasts is quite long. If you have missed some, you are more than welcome to tune in on Anchor, Spotify, Google or Apple podcasts. Is there a topic you would like us to cover? Reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Enjoy listening.
April 12, 2021
The ABC of housing market financialisation and what can we do to fix it
Try discussing housing affordability without mentioning the financialisation of real estate property. This key concept has affected the general housing conditions in many countries - big funds buying tens of thousands of homes, expanding mortgage market that drives up prices, constantly increasing rents, gentrification and pricing people out. The financialisation of housing can easily sound complex, so we have invited someone who can explain it even to a grandma. You are with ‘Making a house a home’ - the podcast of the European federation of public, cooperative and social housing providers, Housing Europe. This is the 11th podcast of Housing 2030, the joint initiative of UNECE, UN-Habitat and Housing Europe that aims at bringing the best out of land and environmental policy, governance and finance to deliver housing affordability. I am Diana Yordanova and in this episode, we will look at the virtue of adequate funding and finance or more specifically, how governments can get to grips with the financialisation of homes. The guest of the show today is Professor Manuel Aalbers who is a human geographer, sociologist and urban planner teaching at the prestigious KU Leuven University in Belgium. His main research interest is in the intersection of housing and finance which as you will hear, has turned into one of the biggest challenges of our time that we need to solve if we want our communities to thrive. Manuel Aalbers will join the main panel of the upcoming Housing 2030 conference ‘Shaping investment pathways to deliver affordable housing’ which will take place online on 14th April. Last registrations are open at www.housingeurope.eu and www.housing2030.org. We are also curious to hear your thoughts, so feel free to reach out to us on email@example.com or via the #Housing2030 hashtag.
April 08, 2021
Diverse funding ensures housing affordability when public finances 'get a cold'
Being a fundamental right, our homes should be treated the same way in national accounts as energy or transport infrastructure. While we often think of the social benefits of housing affordability, there are also a handful of economic reasons to reform or improve housing finance. Building more social housing, for example, counterbalances house price inflation. Grants, loans, adapted interest rates that support the construction or renovation of homes might appear as costly solutions, but solid evidence shows that it is still a much better option for governments than subsidising rents or mortgages for private housing in the long run. You are with ‘Making a house a home’ - the podcast of the European federation of public, cooperative and social housing providers, Housing Europe. The show hosts a series of episodes of the Housing 2030 initiative led by UNECE, UN-Habitat and Housing Europe. If we have not yet met digitally, I am Diana Yordanova. This is the 10th Housing 2030 podcast and the first episode in which we will dive into funding and financing instruments that succeed to deliver more affordable, decent housing. On the other end of the line is Professor Michelle Norris whose teaching and research interests focus on housing policy and urban regeneration, particularly on the management and financing of social housing. Since 2017, she has the been chair of the Housing Finance Agency which supports social housing in Ireland. It has now become a tradition to open up these small conversations to a bigger audience and this episode will make no exception. Join the fourth and final Housing 2030 thematic conference titled ‘Shaping investment pathways to deliver affordable housing’. It is happening on 14th April and you can still reserve your digital seat at www.housingeurope.eu or www.housing2030.org.
April 07, 2021
How to take the Finnish track in housing policy?
When speaking about social inclusion and housing, one European country can be seen as a total myth buster. Yes, it is Finland. Once travel is safe and possible again, we dare you to have a stroll in its capital, Helsinki and try to tell the difference between the tenures just by looking at the buildings. It is also the right time to say that the next edition of the International Social Housing Festival in June 2022 will give you this opportunity. A European champion in tackling homelessness, Finland has been implementing sensible land policies and for half a century already, applying the social mix principle where regardless of where you live, your neighbour can be someone who rents social or private housing, or someone who owns a home. This is the ‘Making a house a home’ show, aired straight from Brussels in what we call today a home office. I am Diana Yordanova and you are listening to the 9th podcast of the Housing 2030 initiative, led by housing experts from over 56 governments through UNECE, UN-Habitat and more than 43,000 social, affordable housing providers represented by Housing Europe. This episode puts good governance and Finland’s housing solutions at the centre. The Director of the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA), Jarmo Lindén says that to achieve a good urban social mix, ‘you have to do this from the beginning’ and smiles by saying that Finnish are pragmatic. On 24th February, Jarmo Linden will join the Q&A panel of the next Housing 2030 digital conference - “Good governance and regulation to support affordability in housing”. Registrations will remain open in the next few days at www.housingeurope.eu or www.housing2030.org. Jarmo will be joined by our two previous podcast guests – Dr Julie Lawson, the Housing 2030 lead writer and Dr Ken Gibb – the director of UK’s Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence. A great discussion is in sight, so, keep an eye on the #Housing2030 hashtag and share your thoughts on housing affordability. Tune in for our conversation with Jarmo, just a few hours before he goes skiing for the weekend.
February 19, 2021
Evidence - the compass of a good housing governance
“Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule,” writes Charles Dickens in his novel the ‘Great expectations’. When speaking about evidence, the hundreds of graphs and reports about the current state of housing and well-being are crystal clear - prices and incomes rarely march shoulder to shoulder. But is housing legislation always based on facts? Positive examples of housing affordability do exist, and yet, serious improvements in this direction are more than necessary. Welcome to ‘Making a house a home’ - the podcast of Housing Europe, the European federation of public, cooperative and social housing providers. You are listening to the 8th episode of the Housing 2030 initiative led by UNECE, UN-Habitat and Housing Europe, this is also the second podcast in which we are speaking about governance. Our guest today is the Director of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE), Ken Gibb. Since 2017, the centre has been making the link between academia, housing policy and practice. The discussion continues also beyond Anchor, Spotify, Apple or Google Podcasts. Be part of it and attend the next Housing 2030 digital conference “Good governance and regulation to support affordability in housing” on 24th February. The registration is open on www.housingeurope.eu or www.housing2030.org. And now, it is time to travel virtually to the UK and kick off the conversation with Ken Gibb.
February 15, 2021
The fundamental 'building blocks' of good housing governance
When was the last time when you took a stroll around a neighbourhood and you found it well-maintained, with a good social mix and green spaces or just the opposite, rather run-down, leaving you a feeling that things can be improved? And a second question to kick off the discussion - when was the last time when you thought that districts, homes and people’s quality of life are the result of a strategic, systematic political action or perhaps inaction? Welcome to ‘Making a house a home’ - the podcast of Housing Europe, the European federation of public, cooperative and social housing providers. You are listening to the 7th episode of Housing 2030 - the joint international initiative of housing experts from over 56 governments through UNECE and UN-Habitat and 43,000 affordable housing providers represented by Housing Europe. I am Diana Yordanova and I hope you will dive into the ‘new season’ of our Housing 2030 mini-series which will be looking at governance. Our podcast guest today says that “effective champions” and “best practice in leadership and commitment” can drive people’s lives forward, but also that “a housing system that is poorly regulated can be really costly.” This is Dr Julie Lawson – a Housing 2030 Lead Writer and Honorary Associate Professor at RMIT University. This is the second time Julie Lawson is on this show. In May last year, she discussed with us why good land policy and the need to plan for the wider public interest matter. Now, we will be looking at what kind of governance can build a type of housing system that we want to have and that we need for future generations. You can get to know more about policies that work for homes and for people during the next Housing 2030 digital conference “Good governance and regulation to support affordability in housing”. The event will be held online on 24th February and you can register for it on www.housingeurope.eu or www.housing2030.org. Remember also to keep an eye on the #Housing2030 hashtag and subscribe for our ‘Making a house a home’ podcast on Anchor, Spotify, Google or Apple podcasts. Stay safe and talk to you soon!
February 01, 2021
The ‘cocktail of change’ improving the cities we live in
We can’t judge a book by its cover but can we have a clear idea of the vision of a city by looking at how liveable it is? Paying special attention to the level of existing affordable housing, the configuration of its neighbourhoods, the ecological footprint of homes and people’s access to green spaces, could be a hint helping us to define how functional megapolises, cities, small towns and rural areas are. Welcome to the podcast of Housing Europe, the European federation of public, cooperative and social housing providers. This is the 6th episode dedicated to the ‘Housing 2030’ joint international initiative of Housing Europe, UN-Habitat and UNECE. Glasgow’s first-ever City Urbanist, Brian Evans is the guest of “Making a house a home”. To him, living in cities is a state of being and he sometimes prefers leaving abstraction, percentages and technical terms out of the housing narrative, to remind that people are in the centre of their homes and not in the periphery. Working also as a Professor at Scotland’s Glasgow School of Art, the discussion with Brian Evans gives a lot of food for thought. You can get to know more about working policies for quality living in cities during the next Housing 2030 digital conference 'Climate change, environmental and health impacts on housing affordability'. The event will be held on 10th November and you can find all information on www.housingeurope.eu. Remember that we also welcome more inspirational interviewees from the world of housing. If you are one of them or you know someone, reach out to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
November 03, 2020
Bringing tenants on board - an ingredient for a successful renovation
Our home – the place where we now work and play, celebrate holidays and relax might seem to us to be always the same, just as we left it this morning. At the same time, we also know that housing is developing as we are speaking. Isn’t that a fascinating paradox? Housing renovation is now on nearly all political agendas, seen as a way to achieve climate goals, improve people’s lives and boost the economy. Innovative solutions and models are coming from different corners of Europe. We see the advancement, but we also see the global health pandemic as a constant reminder of a further deepening housing crisis. With so much going on, we might need a second pair of eyes to see the spectrum of achievements and challenges in the sector. Welcome to the podcast of Housing Europe, the European federation of public, cooperative and social housing providers. This episode is dedicated to the ‘Housing 2030’ joint international initiative of Housing Europe, UN-Habitat and UNECE. The guest of ‘Making a house a home’ today is one of the Housing 2030 researchers - Dr Holger Wallbaum – a Professor of Sustainable building at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden and an internationally recognised expert in the field of various kinds of sustainability assessments of buildings, road infrastructures, districts and cities. Being a frequent member of evaluation committees of several EU member state research councils and the Research and Innovation programme of the EU, he knows what innovating to face the new frontiers is. We can continue the conversation during the next Housing 2030 digital conference 'Climate change, environmental and health impacts on housing affordability' which will be held on 10th November and will host an excellent line up of speakers. You can find all information about the event on our website www.housingeurope.eu. If you would like to listen to new episodes that are fresh from the oven, feel free to subscribe on Anchor, Spotify, Google or Apple podcasts. Let’s kick off the discussion with Holger Wallbaum together.
October 28, 2020
Homes good for the climate and for the pocket - it is possible
The changing climate of the planet presents a challenge to all of us. Besides being a key issue that we need to tackle swiftly and effectively, climate change and environmental goals have to be designed to protect all parts of our society. With the need to heat, cool and build our homes more sustainably, housing goes right at the heart of the climate discussion. Our subscribers who have been closely following this show will notice that there is a change of the voice behind the microphone, the voice of my predecessor Michalis Goudis who kicked-off this show back in 2017. I am Diana Yordanova, it is nice to meet you digitally and I hope you enjoy listening. This episode is part of our mini-series dedicated to the #Housing 2030 joint international initiative of Housing Europe, UN-Habitat and UNECE. At ‘Making a house a home’ today, we’ll be looking at one of the first movers, implementing innovative solutions to improve the climate and energy performance of homes in the Netherlands in a way that does not put an unsustainable financial burden on the most vulnerable. Martin van Rijn, Chairperson of the Dutch Association of Housing Corporations, Aedes - member Housing Europe - is our guest today. With more than 2.2 million rental homes, housing companies are the largest homeowner in the Netherlands and a key actor for achieving the country’s climate objectives - to disconnect 7 million homes and 1 million buildings from the gas grid by 2050. Martin’s professional experience makes him able to see the bigger picture. He has been on key roles in what used to be the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, Secretary of state at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) during the second mandate of Prime Minister Rutte. This year, he was also a Minister for Medical Care and Sport in probably the most challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our conversation puts climate goals, recovery plans, housing affordability and innovation in the spotlight. In this episode, we also invite you to register for the next Housing 2030 digital conference 'Climate change, environmental and health impacts on housing affordability' which will be held on 10th November. Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for the EU Green Deal, Frans Timmermans will also be with us and hold the keynote speech. You can find all information about the event on our website www.housingeurope.eu
October 26, 2020
Paris: the housing strategy at the heart of a functional and socially mixed '15-minute' city
One could call it the ‘holy grail’ of today’s highly urbanized world. The way authorities manage it shapes the way we live, including how much public and green space we can benefit from, how we can move around, what types of services we can find around us and most importantly what kind of home we can access. Urban Land is a cornerstone of modern cities and today’s focus point of ‘Making a house a home’. In the third episode of our mini series dedicated to the ‘Housing 2030’ joint international initiative of Housing Europe, UN Habitat and UNECE around housing affordability, we’ll be looking at how one of the world’s major cities, namely Paris is dealing with the question of land and how this in effect influences the provision of social and affordable housing. To do that, we’re privileged to have the view of a true expert. Olivier Richard is Urban planner and Designer at APUR, the Paris Urbanism Agency, a private body that has accompanied public urban policy since 1967. Its mission is to document, analyse and develop forward looking strategies which address the urban and societal evolution of Paris and Greater Paris. Olivier Richard has been involved in the agency’s work for over 20 years and we contacted him to discuss the links between planning and housing, between land and affordability at a time that Paris seems to be undergoing a major transformation. What are the tools that the French capital is deploying to improve the provision of affordable homes? Where have the authorities been successful so far and what are the challenges ahead? And finally, where does housing fit into the much-discussed vision unveiled by Mayor Anne Hidalgo for the so-called ’15-minute city’? Olivier Richard has all the answers. Stay tuned…
May 18, 2020
It all comes down to what piece of land you can afford
Paraphrasing Mark Twain one could say “take good care of Land, they aren't making it anymore”. This is why when one needs to look at ways to boost provision of affordable housing until 2030, land is definitely one of the major points for consideration. This is episode 2 of our mini-series dedicated to Housing 2030, the joint international initiative of housing experts from over 56 governments through UNECE and UN Habitat and 43,000 affordable housing providers and neighbourhood developers represented by Housing Europe. It aims to improve the capacity of national and local governments to formulate policies that improve housing affordability and sustainability. As the countdown to the first virtual event of the ‘Housing 2030’ initiative, taking place on May 20th has started we’re looking at its central theme which is Land with the help of 3 excellent guests. Today, I am particularly happy to welcome to ‘Making a house a home’ Independent housing policy consultant, author and former Downing Street Special Adviser for housing, Toby Lloyd. Toby had long experience as Head of Policy and Housing Development with Shelter in the UK and has been a co-author of the truly influential book ‘Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing’ that was published in 2017 by ZED Books. The book managed to explain in a very accessible and thought-provoking way how many of the key challenges facing modern economies - including housing crises, financial instability and growing inequalities - are intimately tied to the land economy. Having worked on housing and land from multiple roles, Toby Lloyd is the kind of person one would like to answer questions such as Why isn’t it fair to treat land like any other capital asset? What are the risks of the commodifaction of land? During our Skype call we also asked him to explain how the so called ‘house-price credit cycle impacts the affordability of land. We concluded our virtual meeting with some practical thoughts around what can be actually done to control land prices but also to free up land for development of public, cooperative and social housing. Here’s our interview with Toby Lloyd.
May 13, 2020
Good land policy involves planning for the wider public interest
This episode kicks off a mini-series dedicated to #Housing2030, a joint international initiative of housing experts from over 56 governments through UNECE and UN Habitat and 43,000 affordable housing providers and neighbourhood developers represented by Housing Europe with the aim to improve the capacity of national and local governments to formulate policies that improve housing affordability and sustainability. As the countdown to the first virtual event of the ‘Housing 2030’ initiative, taking place on May 20th has started we’re looking at its central theme which is Land with the help of 3 excellent guests. For this first episode, I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Julie Lawson, Honorary Associate Professor for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute in the Centre for Urban Research of RMIT University. Julie has undertaken the task of drafting the Housing 2030 report in co-operation with a team of authors including Professor Michelle Norris (University College Dublin; Irish Housing Finance Agency), Dr. Kat Grimsley (George Mason School of Business) and Dr. Sergio Nasarre-Aznar (UNESCO Housing Chair at the University Rovira i Virgili). However, today, I’ve asked to have a Skype Call to discuss the finding of another insightful and timely piece of work she has put together along with Professor Hannu Ruanovaara. The purpose of this international review, that was funded by the Academy of Finland, is to examine the range of land policy instruments governments used to influence housing affordability and social inclusion to inform best practice in policy development. The land policy instruments covered include: Public land banking, Public land leasing, Land re-adjustment, Land value recapture, Regulatory planning, Comprehensive neighbourhood planning and addressing real estate platform economy. The geographical scope includes Europe, Asia, North American and Australia. On a sunny afternoon on the last day of April, we discussed with Dr. Julie Lawson why the relationship between land policy, social cohesion and housing is fundamental, the role of citizens in decisions around land management as well as what it takes to stop the overwhelming trend of financialization of land and housing. Stay tuned!
May 05, 2020
Making a house a home - A message for "decent and affordable housing for all" from the European Parliament
After discussing the EU Green Deal and its ambition for a Renovation Wave, today we’re heading back to the European Parliament to meet one of its Dutch Members with the Greens, Kim van Sparrentak. Kim is currently rapporteur of the European Parliament upcoming own initiative report on “Decent and Affordable Housing for All” and the timing unfortunately couldn’t have been more appropriate given that the Coronavirus Crisis has brought to surface Europe’s housing challenges for good. During our phone call, we asked Kim Van Sparrentak how the ‘Coronavirus Housing Crisis’ we have already talked about in one of the previous podcasts of this series is reflected in her report. How can the EU Green Deal and its Renovation Wave, in particular, be a win win for the housing sector? And most importantly, what are the tools that Brussels should add to the national policy toolboxes when it comes to housing?
April 22, 2020
Making a house a home - The key success of the EU Green Deal would be to help all members of society
We’re back with yet another episode of our series around the housing aspect of the Coronavirus Crisis, in which we are addressing a number of questions that are probably in your mind as well, with one special guest each time. Today, we’re making the link with the European Commission flagship initiative, the EU Green Deal and the so called ‘Renovation Wave’ that is envisaged to improve the condition of Europe’s building stock. Ciaran Cuffe is an Irish Member of the European Parliament with the Greens and is currently busy being the Rapporteur of the much-expect report “Maximising the energy efficiency potential of the EU building stock”. This is supposed to set out the view of the Parliament on most aspects of energy efficiency in buildings, while also making concrete suggestions for the content of the Renovation Wave. We asked Ciaran to have a Skype Call to discuss the new COVID19 reality that is taking shape will influence the priorities and objectives of the EU Green Deal. What needs to be changed in the way we approach energy efficiency in our buildings? We have also asked Ciaran how this Report aims to address the different segments of the housing market and we concluded our conversation wondering whether the EU Green Deal and the ‘Renovation Wave’ become the EU’s 2020 Marshall Plan. Stay with us to find all the answers.
April 17, 2020
Making a house a home - A pandemic as the death sentence for policies at the root of inequalities
In episode 2 of our Coronavirus podcast series, we welcome the Secretary General of Housing Europe, Sorcha Edwards. Since it’s been a while we can’t meet in the office, we had a Skype Call with Sorcha to discuss which aspects of an existing, underlying housing crisis has the current pandemic put forward and the response of the public, cooperative and social housing providers to this extremely challenging reality. After dealing with the present emergency, what should a medium to long term policy response look like? Stay with us until the end of our conversation to find out.
April 14, 2020
Making a house a home - The Coronavirus Housing Crisis
As part of our Coronavirus podcast series, we discuss with KU Leuven Professor Manuel Aalbers, coordinator of the Real Estate/Financial Complex research project the ‘Coronavirus Housing Crisis’, as he described it in his recent article on Tribune Magazine with the same title. Professor Aalbers stresses that the latest recession may not have been caused by housing but it will play a big role in how it unfolds – from tenants facing eviction to bursting debt bubbles and falling house prices. We had a Skype Call with Manuel Aalbers to talk about the characteristics of this housing crisis and eventual ways out of it…
April 05, 2020
Making a house a home #8 - Getting a taste of how the EU Green Deal looks like in practice
Housing Europe organised a field trip to the UIA backed project ‘Superlocal’ in Kerkrade in the Netherlands for a delegation consisting of MEP, Kim Van Sparrentak and European Commission Officials from DG Grow and the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). Participants had the chance to meet the stakeholders that made this truly innovative, circular social housing project possible. We followed the trip that aimed at offering a taste of how the European Commission flagship initiative, the EU Green Deal looks like in practice. Housing Europe showcasedto EU Institutions’ Delegation how a Dutch social housing company and local authorities are pushing the frontiers of circular economy Stay with us to hear what were the reactions of quite a diverse group of participants when they arrived at a demolition site that is giving birth to new affordable homes in an area that is trying to revitalise, if not reinvent, itself.
February 26, 2020
Making a house a home #3 - Housing First
In the third episode of 'Making a house a home' we turn our spotlight to Housing First. Why is this probably the best way to fight homelessness? What does the case of Finland show to the rest of EU Member States? What is the aim of the Housing First Europe Hub? Samara Jones from FEANTSA, Programme Coordinator of the Housing First Europe Hub provides us with an insider’s view on this innovative approach. In the second part of our show we welcome Björn Mallants, the General Director of VVH, the Association of Flemish Social Housing Companies, a member of Housing Europe to talk about their experience on the ground with the Housing First scheme. How is it working in Flanders? Where do they draw their inspiration from?
October 17, 2019
Making a house a home #7 - The life cycles of our homes
This time, we dive into the circular world. The circular economy is all over the place in the Brussels policy scene since the European Commission presented the Circular Economy Package in early 2018. But what do we actually mean with the term ‘circular economy’? What is the potential of the housing sector in delivering an eco-friendy future for our cities? We address these key questions with 2 excellent guests. TU Delft Assistant Professor of Housing Management, Gerard Van Bortel helps us understand better the challenges that circular building adaptation brings for public, cooperative and social housing providers but also the multiple benefits linked with it. Theresa Heitzlhofer, communications manager at Alchemia Nova in Vienna offers us insights from one of the demonstration cases of the Horizon 2020 'Houseful' project. We end our journey in Denmark where Lejerbo, a member of our Danish member organisation BL, is building the World's first social housing unit after circular principles.
April 29, 2019
Making a house a home #6 - Housing for All (from Vienna)
In this episode we reach out to you from Vienna and the venue of the international conference entitled ‘Housing for All’. We used the visit of our delegation to the Austrian capital for this event to hold two interviews that shed light to affordable housing from different starting points. In the first part of our show, we meet the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Leilani Farha, a leading voice in raising awareness on a number of key challenges for affordable housing- first and foremost financialization- through a number of impactful initiatives such as the Global Campaign ‘The Shift’. In the second part, we see how Barcelona and New York city work together to address their affordable housing challenge. What are the issues that this transatlantic partnership is built upon? What kind of solutions are they looking for? How can you help them? Eduard Cabre Romans, International Relations Consultant to the Barcelona Housing Department has the answers to all these questions.
December 11, 2018
Making a house a home #2 - Affordable housing and sustainable cities: a dynamic relationship
Cities are the focus point of the second episode of 'Making a house a home'. As we are becoming increasingly “an urban species” according to the writer and journalist, Doug Saunders what is the role of affordable housing in the urbanized environment? What are the dynamics of the relationship between public, cooperative and social housing providers and the local authorities at European and at global level? We discuss all that with Agata Krause, Policy Advisor on Housing and Social Affairs of EUROCITIES, the network of major European Cities and Özgür Öner, Head of the EU Office of GdW- the Federal Association of German Housing and Real Estate Companies and Chair of the Housing Europe Urban Affairs Committee.
December 10, 2018
Making a house a home #5 - Pathways to social inclusion
We are back after quite a while indeed- sorry for the gap. We hope you missed us, we certainly did. And here we are, reaching out to you again from Brussels with an episode dedicated to an issue everyone in Europe has been talking about over the last years. Migration. The refugee crisis, the action plan, the integration process… These are just a few of the keywords that have been coming up again and again in the news. We will try to make the link with the place that is the key for the migration challenge in Europe and that is… housing. Part of today’s fifth episode will be brought to you from the European Parliament where the final event of the Designing Inclusion Erasmus Plus project was held on October 18th. We will be hearing from the people behind it, especially the academic staff from the KU Leuven what are the project’s main findings. How does one city produce inclusive urban spaces? We will also meet the Italian, Socialist MEP Brando Benifei who has been the Rapporteur of the European Parliament Report on 'Refugees: social inclusion and integration into the labour market'. What is the policymakers’ view on the issue? In the second part of today’s show we will ask Housing Europe’s Research Assistant, Mariel Whelan to give us an overview of the key findings of the latest briefing produced by the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing entitled ‘Pathways to Social Inclusion’. Finally, Fleur Eymann, Responsible for PR and Communications at Startblok Riekerhaven, the project everyone is talking about when referring to successful case studies of inclusive housing projects explains how they manage to co-house in harmony Dutch students and young migrants who have been granted asylum in the country.
October 23, 2018
Making a house a home #4 - EU support for social housing and a meetup with the largest housing provider in France
In the fourth episode of 'Making a house a home' we turn our spotlight to funding. How can public, cooperative and social housing providers get support for innovative projects from the European Union? What are the options available? What are the keys for a successful application and which topics are on the priority list at the moment? We will try to put together all the pieces of this puzzle along with the Policy Officer of Housing Europe, Edit Lakatos who has been monitoring closely both the potential and the impact of EU funding on social housing. In the second part of our show, we will have a call with the Secretary General and Member of the Board of Directors at CDC Habitat, Vincent Mahe. CDC Habitat is the largest housing provider in France offering a really diverse portfolio of services. Mr Mahe explains how the French social housing model works and the key role of Caisse des Depots, estimates the impact of the ongoing reform in the country but also shares the main elements of an interesting agreement for international cooperation with one of the leading housing providers in Germany.
April 10, 2018
Making a house a home #1 - The State of Housing in the EU 2017
In the first episode, we discuss with the President and the Research Coordinator of Housing Europe the current State of Housing in the EU but also what is happening in France where the proposed reform of the social housing sector has triggered a lot of political tension.
October 17, 2017