1.Context and objectives
The general housing situation in many countries across the European Union is clearly showing an emerging housing need due to the progressive increase of unacceptable housing conditions for low-income segments of the population, including immigrants.
The European Commission officially stated that in the EU countries, the opportunity to live in acceptable conditions and at affordable prices it is considered to be one of the key factors in preventing and combating social exclusion, and therefore facilitating integration paths and social cohesion.
Moreover, the European Parliament in the Report drafted by Karima Delli confirms the shortage of affordable housing and underlines the heightening of the risk of poverty and social exclusion due to the increasing of both housing and energy costs. As a matter of facts, the economic crisis has determined cuts in those services especially designed and implemented to facilitate access to housing.
Ensure everyone a “shelter” falls between the duties of political, economic and social solidarity, though it appears impossible to assume the existence of “equal conditions of dignity, freedom and equality” between those who have a home and those who don’t.
The purpose of the project is therefore to capitalize policies and services designed to access “accommodations” as “goods” (which can be acquired or rented in a better-balanced housing market), as well as “services”(through a new system of public, social and residential housing). This will be achieved through the exchange and comparison of Best practices in international meetings with the aim of identifying models that can be standardized and diffused throughout Europe and also through mainstream networks.
2 . Initiatives and activities
International meetings aimed at sharing experiences and know-how and identifying Best Practices implemented across Europe in the field of Social Housing to counteract the housing deprivation of the immigrant population and, more in general, of disadvantaged people.
2.a. A first research activity will identify practices and experiments carried out in different contexts in Italy and throughout Europe, to allow comparison in methodology and impact analysis of different experiences.
Thanks to the results of the research, it will be possible to structure and organize the following meetings.
2.b . The thematic meetings will cover:
- Self-building/self-restoration: where the best self-building/self-construction practices – either assisted or autonomous – will be analyzed; experiments on the re-qualification of abandoned areas and buildings will also be taken into consideration;
- Social housing, new urban and supportive services: to debate a new approach to housing (temporary and with a wider target) based on the needs of those who cannot meet their housing necessities in today’s real estate market. The aim will be to promote the undertake of positive actions in order to ensure the access to accommodations for everybody, and to support the creation of a more “social” housing context.
- The Social Housing Manager: Analysis are showing as the most successful social housing initiatives includes a condominium management of real estate and social aspects, notably by non profit organiations with a mission of public interest, a participative nature to guarantee representation but also solid professional skills. The aim is to assess a professional profile for the real estate / social housing market with specific features.
- Residential Services and Information desk: specific practices such as the possibility for third sector organizations to directly allocate for temporary or longer period accommodations to disadvantaged families and to offer specific services to support social inclusion will be analyzed. These will also include already tested forms of co-housing especially among young people.
- Final meeting: to discuss and capitalize the project activities and the achieved results, focusing on the evaluation of the best practices identified as best models to develop and share.
3. Communication and outputs
- Information Platform : a way to exchange information, documents, reports , comments and reflections through a web site that everyone (project partners and those interested) can access and enhance during the duration of the project and at its conclusion.
- Benchmarking reports : 4 final reports of each seminar explaining the analysis and reflections on the policies and social housing projects, available in English on the platform.
- Instruction Booklet: a conclusive booklet containing the description of the Best practices selected and an assessment report on their transferability, including operational recommendations to address actions in order to solve the specific problems of the immigrant population, available on the platform also past the closing date.