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Housing Solutions Platform workshop at FEANTSA's Policy Conference 2019

This past week, FEANTSA hosted a workshop at the 2019 FEANTSA Policy Conference in Porto, Portugal. This workshop, facilitated by Juha Kaakinen, CEO of the Y-Foundation, sought to focus on two examples of innovative housing solutions in Europe, in the framework of the “50 housing solutions” HSP call. Both of these solutions were presented by representatives of the organizations and included details about the programs and the positive impact they have had on housing access and reducing homelessness.

The first housing solution was presented by Vibe Klarup of The Home for All Alliance (Hjem til alle) in Denmark. The program seeks to target youth homelessness by working for some student housing projects in Denmark to set aside 10% of the housing for students experiencing homelessness. The goal of this type of out-of-the-box is not only to provide housing, but also to create healthy, social networks between fellow students of all backgrounds. Although this solution is only for students experiencing homelessness, The Home for All Alliance hopes to create a model that can be replicated through all relevant cities in Denmark. So far 25 young adults have been housed through the program in three student housing communities. More locations are in the pipeline and the overall target for the Alliance is 2000 affordable homes with solid and integrated social support.

Second, Andrew Bailie (pictured below), Partnerships Manager of Social Bites, explained how their daring housing solution is helping to combat homelessness in Scotland. Social Bites began as a social enterprise (café) involved in distributing food to and employing individuals experiencing homelessness in Edinburgh. The organization then evolved to deliver world-leading public campaigns, eventually constructing the UK’s largest Housing First project, the Social Bite Village. The Social Bite Village is a somewhat controversial, out-of-the-box housing community comprised of tiny homes in order to house those experiencing homelessness in Scotland. At the end of 2018, Social Bites Village was home to 18 community members and has become an alternative housing model for other communities around Europe and the world.

Andrew Bailie, Partnerships Manager of Social Bites, explains the details and impact of Social Bites and the Social Bite Village.

The Housing Solutions Platform will host its next workshop at the International Social Housing Festival this Thursday, June 6, 2019 in Lyon, France. The workshop, “Out of the box housing solutions for the locked-out in Europe” will feature cross sectoral actors to discuss some of the most innovative housing solutions in Europe and existing gaps between these programs.

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