30 episodes

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.

Making a house a home Housing Europe

    • Business

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

    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.

    • 17 min
    Fair circularity in affordable homes put into practice

    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 communications@housingeurope.eu

    Enjoy.

    • 24 min
    Taming mortgage markets can make homes more affordable

    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.

    • 38 min
    Central banks influence money flows - have they got their current role right?

    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 communications@housingeurope.eu 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.

    • 43 min
    In search of tools that tame financialisation

    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.

    • 32 min
    Le logement social: un véritable terrain d'innovation

    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 communications@housingeurope.eu 

    • 12 min

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