Helsinki, 16 June 2022. The Workshop “Housing cooperatives: a sustainable model for European and Mediterranean countries”, held on 16 June in Helsinki in the margins of the International Social Housing Festival 2022, was co-organised by the UfM Secretariat and Housing Europe and gathered representatives of both Housing Cooperatives and the Ministries in charge of Housing from European and neighbouring countries.
The workshop, which contributed to the implementation of the UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040 and its Housing Action Plan, presented different existing models of housing cooperatives in Europe and in neighbouring Mediterranean countries, it discussed the success factors and how can these can be replicated and, most importantly, how the institutional setting can facilitate the spread of cooperative housing.
The first session “Housing cooperatives in Europe: examples from the sector” included an exchange among housing cooperatives, namely among Guido Schwarzendahl, Managing Director of Bauverein Halle & Leuna eG (Germany), Rossana Zaccaria, President of Legacoop Abitanti (Italy), and Eoin Carrol, Policy and Communications Manager, Co-operative Housing Ireland, and it was moderated by Marten Lilja, Deputy Managing Director, Riksbyggen (Sweden).
The second session “What role for housing coops in neighbouring Mediterranean countries?” included a panel discussion with representatives from ministries and experts from the region. Moderated by Doris Andoni, Director, Housing Department, Ministry of Finance and Economy of Albania, the session included presentations by Radmila Lainovic, Director-General for Housing and Legalization, Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism of Montenegro, Khaled Abdelhalim, Deputy Director, Program Coordination, Upper Egypt Local Development Program and Guldehan Atay, Ass. Prof. Arch., Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Faculty of Architecture, İstanbul (Turkey).
The International Social Housing Festival 2022 was organized by The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA), City of Helsinki and Housing Europe. The 2022 edition of International Social Housing Festival (ISHF) explored housing as the foundation of good life. The festival highlighted the role of social, public and co-operative housing in achieving socially and ecologically sustainable living in our cities now and in the future. It brough together the international housing community – housing practitioners, policymakers, architects, researchers and tenants and invited the different Finnish and international stakeholders to take part in this critical conversation and to come up with answers together. The seminars, site visits and workshops explored both policy and practice of putting people first.
The UfM Urban Agenda aims to support the creation of more resilient and inclusive cities in the Mediterranean region, with a focus on reducing inequalities and contributing to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040, adopted by UfM Senior Officials in July 2021, establishes a common vision to tackling urban challenges in the region. It is the result of a three-year collaboration between the European Commission and all 42 UfM Member States, aiming to improve the quality of life for all citizens by building better, more inclusive, climate-resilient communities. The Plan promotes science-led, evidence-based, inclusive and integrated planning, investment and implementation of urban projects, with coordination at the local, national and regional governance levels. It involves cooperation between national and local authorities, intergovernmental organisations, international financial institutions and other stakeholders.