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3rd Europe Housing Forum Closes | Call for Integrated EU Policy Approach

hf_1On November 18 – 20, more than 120 attendees gathered in Berlin for the 3rd Europe Housing Forum. The three days of presentations and discussions by some of the leading thinkers in the areas of affordability, sustainability and livability resulted in forming of concrete recommendations as a step towards developing Europe’s housing agenda.

Leilani Fahra, UN Special Rapporteur, Adequate Housing, opened the forum reminding everyone that housing is a basic human right.  She also stated migration and refugees will not ‘go away’ and more needs to be done to respond to their needs.

Greg Foster, EMEA Vice President, Habitat for Humanity International, stated, “The forum highlights the critical needs in Europe’s housing market.  More needs to be done and participants came up with very workable recommendations.”

Participants developed a set of recommendations that included calls for the EU and nation states across the region to:

  • Increase housing stocks so people have affordable, safe, and decent places to live.
  • Develop new financing initiatives and housing models that will make housing across all income levels more available.
  • Increase and expand sustainability initiatives beyond energy efficiency to include a more inclusive approach to urban planning to reduce segregation and social exclusion.
  • Develop new policies that improve livability through an integrated provision of transport, employment, social care, hospitals, schools and safety to create a more cohesive community.

EU MEP Jan Olbrycht, President URBAN Intergroup, gave the closing keynote address accepting the recommendations and telling participants that a new housing committee will work for three years to develop a more fully integrated approach to the needs of the region.  He said more details on the committee, which will start work in January 2016, will be available shortly.

The meeting was organized by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UN-Habitat, UNECE, UNDP and Habitat for Humanity International.

Presentations and more information about the forum and its results will be posted on ecahousingforum.eu

For further information about the 3rd Europe Housing Forum, please contact Katerina Bezgachina atkbezgachina@habitat.org