The EESC held a webinar on affordable housing on September 10th 2020, where MEP Kim Van Sparrentak presented her position on housing. MEP Kim van Sparrentak is rapporteur for the European Parliament in the Employment and Social Affairs Committee on the report: ‘Access to Decent and Affordable Housing for All’. The report outlines proposals to tackle the housing crisis in Europe. It sets out the concrete policy and legislative measures Europe should take to transform the situation and ensure that housing is decent, affordable, and accessible for all.
The conclusion of the webinar is readable here and echoes the message of Mr Coulon voiced in 2019.
EESC president Luca Jahier said: Since all the countless initiatives, aid and investments for the benefit of the residential housing sector at Community, national, regional and local level fail to resolve this structural crisis, the EESC is proposing a European action plan for decent and affordable housing in the framework of the implementation of the 19th principle of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the future “building” plan of the Green Deal. This plan should include a set of strategic measures helping Member States, regions and European cities to relaunch the supply of decent and affordable housing in a sustainable way, while strengthening their health and energy performance.
Homes4Life is proud to participate to the #EURegionsWeek 2020 which will offer to participants more than 500 digital working sessions to discover over three consecutive weeks in October, from 5-22 October, covering various topics along the thematic priorities Empowering Citizens; Cohesion and Cooperation; and Green Europe.
The Homes4Life project organised a webinar on 9 July to present the Certification Scheme that has been developed during the past months. Participants had the opportunity to share their views on its strengths and weaknesses.
The webinar was moderated by Menno Hinkema, from TNO, who has also worked on the Taxonomy on which the Certification Scheme is based. The Taxonomy answers crucial questions in a structured and detailed way, such as:
What does it mean for a home to be age-friendly?
Which functions does one’s home have to fulfill?
Which elements contribute to its fitness for purpose?
Concretely, it compiles a set of indicators that can form the basis for more specific requirements and verifications in the certification pilots.
Christophe Gerard and Hervé Duret, from Certivéa, presented then the principles of the Homes4Life Certification Scheme and how it operates.
It is first of all open to all types of organisations (public or private, profit or non-profit) as well as to individuals. The Certification can be applied to buildings in design or in operation phase. It is structured around five main clusters which aim at covering all the aspects of an age-friendly environment. The personal and social ties or the economic capability, which contribute to the quality of life in housing, amount to 70% of the final score, while the more traditional aspects of adapting the home environment amount to 30%. The assessment method is based on design specifications, features and quality through a set of qualitative and quantitative requirements and an evaluative survey among the residents.
The Homes4Life project together with Housing Europe, the Centre for Ageing Better and the European Social Network organised a webinar on 30 June about age-friendly housing in the context of COVID-19.
Our homes and living environments are a key determinant of our overall health and impact upon our personal, emotional, economic and social wellbeing. The COVID-19 pandemic not only exposed more starkly Europe’s housing crisis, but also showed the fatal impact on older people living in congregated care settings and impact of poor housing on people’s health and wellbeing. Moderated by Nadia Kamel from Eurocarers, the aim of this webinar was to increase awareness and further build the case for quality, resilient and age-friendly housing in Europe.
Silvia Urra from Tecnalia, Project Coordinator of the Homes4Life project introduced Homes4Life project by reminding the audience that healthy ageing is not only about the absence of disease but rather about our ability to do the things we value most: this depends not only on our intrinsic capacity (our physical and mental health) but also on our environment. If our homes do not help to foster our inclusion in a community, this may lead to isolation and loneliness.
Considering the need for quality and resilient housing that can adapt as people’s needs evolve with age, the Homes4Life project intends to promote an age-friendly environment. Facing this challenge, a first version of a certification scheme has been developed and is being tested in pilot sites. Being innovative in its approach and process, the Homes4Life certification scheme takes into account a large array of indicators and helps raising the awareness of stakeholders for better environments for ageing people.
This webinar is proposed by Certivéa (French evaluation and certification organisation, focused on sustainable buildings, infrastructures, and urban topics). It will introduce the Homes4Life certification scheme and enable the audience to provide their views on the certification’s strengths and limits.
Christophe Gérard – Scientific and technical director, Certivéa
Hervé Duret – Consultant on the uses in buildings and cities, Certivéa
Menno Hinkema – Senior researcher in health care and consultant in health services, TNO
Introduction: Presentation of the project, agenda and objectives
Principles and structure of a certification scheme: what are the needs?
Upstream: the concepts behind an Age-friendly environment
Core: general characteristics of Homes4Life certification scheme
Downstream: exploitation and management of Homes4Life certification scheme
TECNALIA, coordinator of the Homes4Life project organised a webinar in Spanish to present challenges and opportunities of age-friendly housing.
La vivienda ha cobrado un nuevo sentido hoy en día. Nunca antes habíamos pasado tanto tiempo en nuestras casas. No éramos conscientes de lo que estas nos ofrecen, y de lo que no. Y ahí reside el problema, en lo que no nos ofrecen.
Ocho de cada diez personas mayores expresan su deseo de poder vivir en su propia vivienda sin tener que abandonarla: lo que nos lleva a replantearnos los modelos existentes en la actualidad.
Silvia Urra – Investigador del Área Citybuild, TECNALIA
Fermín Bravo – Director General de Vivienda Consejería de Derechos Sociales y Bienestar del Gobierno de Asturias. Miembro de Housing Europe.
Eva Salaberria – Responsable de Donostia Lagunkoia
Hands-on SHAFE is a project that aims to deliver informal learning experiences and hands-on tools to implement SMART and HEALTHYBUILT environments or to develop BUSINESS in this area.
Information gaps on needs and demands on the side of end-users still hinder the implementation and usage of existing technologies and appropriate environments. Findings are needed to learn how adults can be best approached, trained and advised on aspects of smart healthy age-friendly environments.
The project just released national reports which summarize the research results in six countries: France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Portugal and the Netherlands.
Besides an overview on the national context, it describes existing SHAFE products and services as well as their target groups, gaps between their availability and usage, existing implementation support offers and their funding, and examples of good practice for the application and implementation of user-centred services and products in the realms of SMART, BUILT and HEALTHY. With special regards to facilitators who want to start their own company, the BUSINESS chapter informs about SHAFE areas which are appropriate for this intention, main regulation, support offers and stakeholders for starting a business, available training concepts and examples of good training practice. Based on this information, conclusions are drawn on appropriate strategies regarding the training and support of the target groups.
Together with the reports of the other Hands-on SHAFE partner countries, the national reports will be used to elaborate a European synthesis report and a European compendium on SHAFE. Further, a European factsheet will be provided to interested stakeholders, containing information in a reader-friendly and low-threshold style and serving for further dissemination activities.