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Europe needs new ways to finance housing

Creative new financing methods are needed to cope as demographic and other trends drive up Europe’s need for new housing, participants told a roundtable organised by the Housing Solutions Platform on 23 November in Brussels. While access to affordable, safe housing is a fundamental right, it is still not within reach for residents of many European countries. In 2015 nearly 17% of the EU’s population lived in overcrowded dwellings, with nearly 25m people suffering from severe housing deprivation. One cause is that spending on house building has decreased in relative terms in many European countries, said Cédric Van Styvendael, President of Housing Europe, the Federation for Public, Cooperativ

The hidden city spaces for affordable housing

Even in the most crowded urban environments, there are square metres left without use or purpose. Spaces too small for traditional urban projects, perhaps, but city spaces nonetheless. If no “traditional” housing can be built, it doesn’t mean no housing can be built. And when there are people on the streets of our cities who desperately need housing, we have to think beyond traditional. Archi Human, an association based in Brussels, targets these spaces to build quality, wooden modular housing. Their work is integrated into three frameworks: homelessness, urbanism and architecture. Using the working principles of Housing First, the aim is to urgently provide independent housing to the most e