On 27 June 2017, EUROCITIES participated in the event ‘Towards a sustainable
and affordable Housing market in Europe: what to learn from the Italian model?’
at the European Parliament in Brussels.
The event was organised by the Fondazione Cariplo, a foundation that supports the activities of social and civil organisations
in Italy. The objective of the event was to debate the opportunities and challenges in providing social and affordable housing in Europe.
During the event, members of the European Parliament David-Maria Sassoli MEP, Patrizia Toia MEP, and Brando Benifei MEP argued investing in social housing contributes to the objective of building a more ‘social’ Europe and housing assistance is a priority stemming from the Treaty of Lisbon. President
of Fonazione Cariplo, Giuseppe Guzzetti, pointed out investment in social and affordable housing in Europe has become more attractive as the sector has built up its innovative potential.EUROCITIES, Fondazione Cariplo and Housing Europe then debated the challenges of delivering social housing at local level, especially the urban dimension of housing policies and financing of affordable housing.
EUROCITIES policy director, Silvia Ganzerla, argued housing policy is at the crossroad of environmental, social and economic policy. She highlighted that using public procurement and state aid as tools to invest in affordable housing remains problematic at a local level. She also mentioned that the shift in European policy and politics on social issues and the emergence of the European Pillar of Social Rights, is welcomed by the cities but argued there is a need to improve dialogue between the European institutions and cities when it comes to implementation of the pillar.
Other stakeholders including the European Investment Bank, European Policy Centre, Eurosif, the Lombardy region and the city of Milan stressed the importance of improving public private partnership (PPP) in order to deliver more affordable housing faster and make the most of the European Funds for housing and social investment. Representative from the Lombardy region, Francesco Foti said it is important to go beyond segregation between what is public and what is private. Mario Vanni from the city of Milan pointed out social housing policies have to look at PPP
in order to avoid ghettoisation
of social housing in cities.