Important step forward for responsible housing providers

The first European agreement on Responsible Housing between Housing providers & Tenants marks International Tenants’ Day 2014. Housing Minister of Scotland, Margaret Burgess, and Vienna’s housing Councilor Michael Ludwig joined representatives from Tenants Unions and non-for-profit Housing Providers from across the EU to celebrate success in the sector on October 6th, International Tenants’ Day.
“With the backdrop of the on-going recession and growing inequalities resulting in part from irresponsible practices in the financial and housing sectors this initiative which puts a spotlight on best practice from the non-for-profit, public, social and cooperative sector is of huge importance. “, says Sorcha Edwards, Secretary General of Housing Europe.
The International Union of Tenants, Housing Europe and DELPHIS (French network of housing providers) succeeded in finalizing a twofold voluntary agreement on Corporate Social Responsibility, including a Code of Conduct for housing providers and a European Declaration signed by EU stakeholders in the sector. Affordable housing providers agree on clear principles for long term investment in building construction and renovation, neighborhoods, human resources, and fair relations with stakeholders, notably the tenants. Through the European Declaration, housing stakeholders call for the development of CSR in public, cooperative and social housing.
The final ceremony of the European Responsible Housing Awards took place today at the North Rhine-Westphalia Representation in Brussels. The winning housing organisations in the five categories were:
– RCT Homes (Pontypridd, Wales) in “Economic responsibility and sustainability”, for its extensive training program targeting young tenants.
– Eigen Haard (Amsterdam, Netherlands) in “Local social sustainability”, for enhancing neighborhoods and strengthening community links .
– Société Dauphinoise pour l’Habitat (Echirolles, France) in “Environmental sustainability” for renovating buildings at zero cost for tenants.
– Dansk Almennyttigt Boligselskab (Frederiksberg, Denmark) in “Good governance and fair relations with stakeholders”, for effective residential democracy and tenants’ empowerment.
– Habitat 62/59 Picardie (Coquelles, France) in “Responsible Human resources management”, for ensuring safety at work in an innovative way.
A total of 25 projects were shortlisted and are now gathered in a handbook available online at http://www.responsiblehousing.eu
Barbara Steenbergen (IUT), chair of the stakeholder forum and president of the jury stated:
“The responsible housing agreement shows the strength of the sector as a motor for social innovation. Backed up by housing providers, tenants’ unions and EU key stakeholders, it shows the partnership and the commitment to create social and economic returns for citizens and communities by providing affordable housing and the empowerment of residents.”
Delphis has been the project coordinator. Its president, Olivier Barry concludes:
“Through this project and active participation of key stakeholders, we have together achieved a major step. We now hope to see the European Responsible Housing Initiative grow as a sustainable network for all organisations committed to CSR in the European housing sector.”

The European Declaration on Responsible Housing is signed by Housing Europe, City of Vienna,  Confédération Nationale du Logement (CNL), Coface Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union, Delphis – Housing & Innovation, Deutsche Mieterbund (DMB), International Union of Tenants (IUT), Lejjernas Lands Organisation, Nederlandse Woonbond, Royal Institution of Chartered Suveyors (RICS), Solidar and the Scottish Government.

The Declaration and the Code of Conduct and it’s signatories are attached. Below you also have same links.joint_declaration_EN_sans_signatures code_of_conduct_a4_final2 (5) ResponsibleHousingRegister – 2014-09-30 – CORR

http://www.housingexcellence.co.uk/news/margaret-burgess-highlight-scotland%E2%80%99s-approach-empowering-tenants-international-union-tenants

http://www.rics.org/be/knowledge/news-insight/press-releases/european-coalition-formalise-its-commitment-towards-responsible-housing/

http://www.wien.gv.at/rk/msg/2014/10/07016.html

http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Scotland-leads-the-way-in-putting-tenants-first-10cb.aspx

http://www.businessimmo.com/contents/49184/la-coalition-europeenne-formalise-son-engagement-en-faveur-d-un-logement-responsable

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