European Conference: "Tackling the financial crisis with a new deal for affordable housing"

On 5 October 2009 the International Union of Tenants (IUT) hosted a conference on future policies of European housing at the European Parliament. In a statement issued on the same day the IUT called for more investment and renovation of social/public/private rental housing. CEPI supports the efforts of the IUT to promote discussion of issues related to housing at a European level.
In a statement issued on 5 October 2009 to coincide with the conference at the European Parliament the International Union of Tenants (IUT) confirmed that housing and construction is one of the largest financial sectors and a key instrument in tackling the financial recession. The message of the conference is that it is important to invest in housing now.

Speakers at the conference included MEP Constanze Krehl, member of the European Parliament Committee for Regional Policy, who spoke about "The EU economic recovery plan and the future shape of the EU structural funds". EU cohesion policy needs to change and the EU must choose its priorities. Housing is not amongst the powers of the EU but it is part of cohesion policy and social cohesion. Housing is also an important element in the protection of the environment and EU policy on buildings makes it possible to receive funds for energy policy.

Other speakers included Mario Aymerich of the European Investment Bank (EIB) who spoke about the EIB's activities in social housing, whilst Michael Smyth, Head of Economics, University of Ulster, spoke about addressing the economic downturn: the case for increased investment in social housing. David Lippeatt, Chief, Economic Policy Unit, US Mission to the EU, also presented President Obama's housing plan: actions and policies to help tenants and promote affordable housing.

Continued investment in housing is important in tackling the financial crisis. It creates jobs and promotes social cohesion. The financial crisis has changed thinking about housing and particularly the stability of the housing market. CEPI encourages discussion of all these matters at a European level.

Further information about the conference is available at the website of the IUT.