As part of the Europe Housing Forum, the main objective of this contest is to showcase and reward meaningful initiatives that, through innovation and collaboration, contribute to solutions for affordable housing in Europe.
The goal is to accelerate the adoption and adaptation of the most promising housing innovations by facilitating dialogue, fostering interaction and collaboration, and driving resources to the world’s cutting-edge initiatives in affordable housing.
The European Housing Innovation Awards is inserted in the context of the Global “Top 100” Affordable Housing Innovations, to be assembled by Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) with the support of the Hilti Foundation.
To recognise ground-breaking innovations in housing policy that create a more enabled environment for affordable housing and provide best practices to impact housing policy around the world.
This category focuses on innovative public policies proposed by public actors (agencies, companies, organisations, networks, associations, partnerships or bodies) across all sectors and levels of government that help improve housing conditions, and promote participatory processes, involvement of civil society, the private sector and other levels of government, and inclusive governance, while taking into account specific needs of low-income and vulnerable populations.
Meet the finalists
To recognise innovations in adequate and affordable housing solutions along the housing continuum with the potential to scale, resulting in material reduction in the affordable housing deficit and improved living conditions of low-income households.
This category focuses on initiatives promoted by either public or private actors, public-private partnerships, or individual persons that implement notable practices to overcome or mitigate challenges and problems in housing, while taking into account sustainability, inclusiveness and needs of vulnerable populations.
To recognise housing design and construction innovations led by the private sector that produce new housing construction technology improvements and advancements that improve the affordable housing construction at scale.
This category focuses on innovative technological solutions (products and services) that support the sustainable reactivation and transformation of housing and urban habitat towards a future with a healthier, more inclusive and resilient life.
Meet the finalists
PUBLIC POLICIES FINALISTS
The development of a city-wide social and affordable housing strategy in Thessaloniki to combat homelessness and housing exclusion has started in 2019 led by the Municipality of Thessaloniki and supported by the URBACT ROOF Network. It intervenes in a Greek context where there is no overarching housing policy, 0% social housing stock and one of the most severely affected countries in the EU in terms of housing cost overburden for low-income households (over 70%).
The participatory processes involved has led to joint planning with NGOs, local authorities, universities, activists, practitioners, ministry representatives in the city actively engaging in the initiative and collectively designing measures. The first intervention undertaken collectively has been the finalisation of a first of its kind baseline study on housing supply and demand and housing exclusion in the metropolitan area. The study has created the backbone for data driven policy making and of the setting up of a Social Rental Agency (SRA) under MDAT which will socialize public and private properties ensuring housing provision to those most in need in coordination with Municipal services and national homelessness programmes.
In tandem, it will support the energy upscaling of the aging housing stock in the city, combating energy poverty as well as urban shrinkage. In order to support the identification of specific housing stock MDAT is starting a mapping exercise for the identification of closed/empty homes (estimated at123,000 units out of 480,000) that can be brought into the programme and ensure the utmost impact in terms of:
1) energy upscaling,
2) urban regeneration,
3) social inclusion and social mix,
4) inter-generational support,
5) combating urban shrinkage,
6) increasing the sustainability and viability of integration and inclusion programmes for homeless, refugees, Roma, unemployed, disabled persons.
The necessary legislation was established under the Affordable Housing Act 2021 and related Regulations.
The Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) are to provide the housing for the Affordable Housing Rental Scheme.
A competition was held under the management of the Housing Agency for the AHBs to submit applications for the scheme.
The successful AHBs received approval for a Cost Rental Equity Loan (CREL) for each scheme, which is a soft loan for 40 years from the Housing Agency for 30% of the scheme cost and is repayable at the end of the 40-year term.
The AHB then applied for loan finance from the HFA for the remaining 70% of the projected costs.
The HFA provides long term finance for 40 years, with interest rates fixed for the first 30 years. The HFA assessed the scheme using a 30-year fixed rate of 1.25% and variable for the remaining 10 years.
The HFA assessed the applications including analysis of the AHB’s scheme cashflow over the life of the loan matching the CREL loan term of 40 years.
The initiative is to achieve affordable rents that are at least 25% below what they would be on the private market. Future rent increases are linked to HICP rates and not market driven.
The fundamental question at the heart of #Housing2030 is: “There are many problems in housing markets today related to affordability, adequacy and supply. Another issue is that solutions often don’t cross national borders. Thus, how can we learn from each other to ensure that our citizens’ housing needs are being met in a way that does not lead to undue stress, financial burden or precarity?”
#Housing2030 is a joint initiative of Housing Europe, the UNECE, and UN-Habitat. It has developed a comprehensive toolkit of ‘best practices’, which will help policymakers who are struggling with housing affordability issues to develop effective policies in this regard. This includes a special emphasis on policies related to ‘finance and investment’, ‘land’, ‘governance’, and ‘environmental sustainability’.
The end goal has been the completion of a detailed report on the main areas in which these areas of housing policy can create unhelpful ‘frictions’, as well as potential solutions. The focus is always on being sensitive to the unique circumstances of a given nation or region, and thus the ‘solutions’ focus on the relevant mechanics of successful housing policies, which can be adapted to _t a broad range of circumstances, rather than offering strict ‘one-size-fits-all’ blueprints.
The #Housing2030 report will be launched at the United Nations in Geneva on the 6th of October 2021. Annual updates will occur in each year right up until 2030.
In addition, an online portal will be available at: www.housing2030.org
The city of Bratislava has long neglected several of its tasks in the field of housing, as defined in the Concept of State Housing Policy and in previous development documents of the city. As the analyzes below show, the current state of urban housing policy does not meet the major challenges that will affect urban life in the next decade.
The basic framework for the activities of the Bratislava city self-government in housing in each time frame and the outline of a long-term direction-vision in the area of housing policy. This concept must then be the basis for further analytical and strategic documents that describe in detail how the city wants to achieve its goals.
BEST PRACTICES FINALISTS
Birgit Gnädig, tenant in one of the applied quarters, summarized: ” I don´t want to miss this solution anymore. There is peace of conscience when I leave my apartment. I know, during my absence there will no heating energy be wasted. When I come back, my home is cozy and warm. This is a beautiful solution, and I am very satisfied”
The verdict of the tenants is surprisingly clear: We were skeptical, but now we are excited. We found “Digitization” weirdly at first, but heating cost savings now make the benefits visible. The verdict of commercial landlords from municipal and cooperative housing companies and the owner of large commercial campuses is also surprisingly clear: we have learned how digitization can make us mediators of major energy efficiency processes and strengthen our active role. At last, we can add significantly improved energy-saving processes to our portfolio– with low
investment costs– without having to fear a landlord-tenant dilemma.
Best Practice: Over the Five years that the project was in operation, we collected ideas from four different housing and real estate companies, combined them into a testbed with representative pilot project buildings and reference buildings at different locations and anticipated the digital future in the residential quarters by means of concrete implementations. For the first time, we have tested new, digitally supported business models with future potential, listed concrete questions, and evaluated key figures to find answers.
Axel Gedaschko, president of the German GdW, announced in his laudatio speech for this best practice project:
“Finally, the point is to decorate best practices and then handing over these results to other housing companies as an example that should be duplicated. There are chances which are much more intelligent than imaginations of politicians and brains of ministers.”
Building Better (BB) is an alliance of 29 housing associations and local authorities working together to increase the use of modern methods of construction (MMC) in the social housing sector.
Set up in 2018 as part of the National Housing Federation’s groundbreaking Greenhouse innovation programme, Building Better aggregates demand from its members so they can build thousands of high-quality, sustainable homes, with their customers’ needs at the heart of the homes’ designs.
Building Better also collaborates with offsite manufacturers, listening to their feedback, learning, and innovating together. This partnership approach improves worker safety, energy efficiency and downstream maintenance costs.
In Portugal, about half a million people are at risk of housing poverty or social exclusion (INE,2010). Moreover, 23% of total population cannot keep their home heated, 200.000 cannot take a shower, and more than 50.000 does not have piped water and sewage system. During the winter, in Portugal, mortality rates increase 28%, contrasting with the 15% rate of the EU (Journal of Public Health, 2016) exposing the lack of housing insulation.
Just a Change (JAC) is a grassroots organization that engages at-risk populations and a surrounding support network to seize a life rehabilitation, starting by reconditioning their residence. Camp In is a JAC 12-day volunteering summer-camp where, through community-based collaborative efforts, it enables those who live in unsafe and/or degrading housing conditions to rehabilitate their homes and to improve their livelihood.
This program mobilizes college students as volunteers to rehabilitate homes of those who cannot afford to do so. It takes place throughout Portugal, mobilizing Local Municipalities and Parishes, local construction companies and suppliers, local engineers and architects, partner companies and the local community, promoting collaboration for a common good.
The project started in 2015 and has already increased eightfold its intervention volume, proving its scalability and adaptability.
LiM SCE was established as the first overarching European housing cooperative. Within three years the number of members increased from 37 till today 98 members (incl. 17 companies and 2 NGOs) in 7 European countries. It is integrated into a network of supra-national institutions like EFL (European Federation for Living), IUT (International Union of Tenants), Housing Europe and IWO (Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe).
In contrast to regional limitations of the legal form of housing cooperatives, LiM started with a broad European perspective. Until now, three cross-national initiatives were planned with local partner organizations. The first residential complex Ewaldstraße is situated in the southeast of Berlin and will be finished in September 2021. General tenant of 40 apartments and common spaces is the traditional Berlin Building and Housing Cooperative of 1892.
The following two projects are in the planning phase: In Latvia (Jelgava) – in cooperation with the municipal housing company JNIP – a housing estate of about 135 dwellings is in progress. Already many negotiations have taken place between ministerial and city administration, others with local employers and representatives of the social and building sector.
The third project – a collaboration between LiM and the Helsinki based community living specialist “Village Co-Living” – has started in 2019. With about 70 units it will be part of the new city quarter Kalasatama, the so-called “most functional city in the world”. The goal is to build a cooperative community complex that has a social, environmental, economic and architectural impact on the urban context. LiM will play an innovative role here as a non-profit cooperative actor among “normal” investors.
All projects are evaluated and serve as “blueprints” for future development. In the European context, this means interdisciplinary professional, technical and organizational exchange in order to use synergy effects and learn from each other.
Material Mapper is the first data platform enabling material reuse at scale to solve the problem of construction being the cause of over 40% of trash in landfills globally.
It is an estimating and forecasting tool to locate reusable construction materials.
The city map shows all future demolition sites and allows user to search by address, type of building, type and quantity of material and date of demolition.
An advanced search tool allows to filter according to the type of building, date of demolition and quantities of each respective material category that would result from the demolition site.
A chart view projects all material types, quantities and date frames of availability.
The thermal insulation invented and patented by Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria compares with the mineral wools with regards to the thermal conductivity and insulation qualities and is much more competitive with regards to the acoustic insulation qualities. The thermal insulation is produced of recycled textiles and contributes to the circular economy and the environment since it has no environmental footprint. The thermal insulation of recycled textiles is to be offered at the market at price level of about 60 percent lower than the average mineral wools’ retail price thus improving the affordability of the energy efficiency home renovations.
A technology for obtaining non-woven bulk material in two varieties, based on recycled textile fibers of mixed character, has been developed, using thermal bonding with bicomponent polyester fibers and one-sided lamination with a needle-punched substrate of recycled polyester fibers. The abilities of the existing non-woven textile machinery in Bulgaria were used for the pilot production of two thermal insulation varieties, but several technology parameters were modified, and innovative processes were introduced. The main raw material is industrial textile waste. The textile waste is dosed and subjected to dissolution and carding so that it may take the form of fibers again. When household textile waste is used, antimicrobial treatment could be applied. The recycled textile fibers are about 75-90% by weight. The thermal conductivity of the insulation is in the range of 0,036 – 0, 038W/(m.K) and characterizes it as a very efficient thermal Insulating material which is appropriate for thermal insulation of building envelope elements.
Block solutions is providing a new cutting-edge technology to produce easy-to-build houses. The fundamental of the company is to provide technology knowhow for locally operated licensing factories around the world. The Block solutions houses can easily be built by virtually anyone within one long day. The raw material used for the manufacturing is locally sourced recycled plastics and possibly different fibers found in excess in the area. When the recycled plastics is collected by the local community or collection companies the price for the Blocks will remain very affordable. The frame for a two-bedroom small house of 30 sqm can be as low as 2000 €.
Emmedue is a modular system made up of two electro-welded steel wire meshes, linked each other by connectors, sandwiching a polystyrene foam slab suitably shaped hat contributes to distribute perfect heat insulation and soundproofing.
Emmedue is a versatile system, with a remarkable design flexibility and a complete capacity of integration to other building systems.
EMMEDUE is an innovative seismic-resistant and insulating building system: the easiness of assembling and handling, the extreme lightness and flexibility of the panels permit to design and produce any type of building, even in hard operational conditions, in areas at high risk of earthquakes or in severe weather conditions.
These set of building elements-panels are ideal for the walls, party walls, partitions, curtain walls, floors and roofing of all types of buildings. With a low carbon footprint, the panels can be used in a range of applications including on-site, off-site, and precast structures.
1. Elena Szolgayova
Elena Szolgayová is an architect and urban planner with long-standing research experience. She was Director General of DG Housing Policy and Urban Development, and served as the Ministry of Transport and Construction of Slovakia. For over two decades participated in shaping the visions of the global, European, and national housing and urban policies, and was one of those steering the process toward adoption of the Geneva UN Charter on sustainable housing. She participated in the Habitat III Bureau and in the Housing Policy Unit during the preparatory process of the New Urban Agenda. She has been one of the coordinators of the Housing Partnership under the EU Urban Agenda. Elena served from 2013 to 2019 as Chair of the UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management, since 2020 acts as a Co-chair of the Housing 2030 initiative.
2. Barbara Streenbergen
Barbara Steenbergen is the Head of the International Union of Tenants (IUT) EU liaison office, which she also established in 2008. She has been committed to tenant protection for more than 20 years, and is responsible for the political relations and representation of the interests of the European tenant associations towards the EU Commission, the EU Parliament and the EU Council.
She started in 2001 as head of the presidential office of the German Tenants’ Union – Deutscher Mieterbund in Berlin and as political coordinator for energy policy and international affairs. In 2007, the General Assembly of the International Union of Tenants (IUT) elected her as head of the newly founded IUT Liaison Office to the European Union in Brussels, which she established in 2008. Since 2013 Barbara Steenbergen has been a member of the Executive Board of the IUT. Since 2020 she is Vice chair of the tenants’ association of Bonn, Germany. From 2009-2012 she chaired the European Housing Forum, the organisation of federations working in the field of housing represented in Brussels.
Since 2013 Barbara Steenbergen has been chair of the Stakeholder Forum of the European Responsible Housing Initiative and president of the jury of the European Responsible Housing Award, which is awarded every three years. Since 2016 she has been a member of the civil society liaison group to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).
In 2016 the EU Council appointed her as a member of the “EU Partnership for Affordable Housing” in the “Pact of Amsterdam”. This partnership consists of experts from cities, EU Member States, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the supply and demand side of the housing sector. It drafts catalogues of measures for the EU legislator. The main aim is to make more investment in affordable housing possible again. Barbara Steenbergen chairs the working group on housing policy there.
Barbara is a German citizen and holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Bonn, Germany and a bachelor in public administration.
The International Union of Tenants was founded in Zürich, Switzerland in 1926. The IUT is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. The IUT office in Brussels, Belgium, manages the work with the European institutions. The IUT belongs to 72 tenant organisations in 47 countries worldwide.
Every first Monday in October, the IUT celebrates International Tenants’ Day/UN-World Habitat Day.
3. Mincho Benov
Mincho Benov has worked in the fields of the capital market, the financial sector and international development as an Executive Director of Sofia Stock Exchange, Director Financial Sector and Capital Markets at the US FLAG Consortium and as a consultant of the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Since 2005 to 2010 Mincho Benov run a residential energy efficiency credit facility implemented through six major Bulgarian commercial banks, funded by a 50 million Euro credit line of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and a 10 million Euro grant component, funded by the Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund.
Mincho Benov has run and consulted various investment projects funded by EU pre-accession and structural funds.
National Director of Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria since 2011.
4. Grzegorz Gajda
Grzegorz Gajda is Senior Urban Specialists at the European Investment Bank. He appraises projects submitted for the EIB financing both from the European Union countries and from outside of the EU. Previously, while he was with the IFC he led the Ukraine Residential Energy Efficiency Project. Prior to the IFC, he was with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, where he appraised, negotiated and implemented urban investment projects in Poland and Ukraine. He comes from Warsaw, Poland and holds MA Econ. from Warsaw University.
5. Georgi Georgiev
Georgi Georgiev is professor and head of the Department of Architecture at New Bulgarian University, as well as chartered member of the UK Chartered Institute of Housing and a member of Working Group „Responsible Architecture“, Architects’ Council of Europe.
His specializations are:
6. Bálint Misetics
Bálint Misetics is a Hungarian social policy specialist whose work integrates research, advocacy and fieldwork. He co-founded A Város Mindenkié (The City Is For All), a community organization dedicated to empowering homeless people and advancing housing justice. He also set up and supervises an emergency service combining social work, activism and nonviolent resistance to prevent the eviction of impoverished families. Since 2020, he has been working as the senior advisor on social and housing policy for the Mayor of Budapest.
1. Alina Muzioł-Węcławowicz
Alina Muzioł-Węcławowicz, PhD, urban geographer, researcher and consultant specializing in housing economy and housing policy, especially social and affordable housing, urban renewal and local development issues. She was professionally associated with the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the National Economy Bank, the Warsaw University of Technology. Currently cooperates with Habitat for Humanity Poland, the Institute of Urban and Regional Development and local governments in Poland. An author of many research papers and expertise on housing, especially social housing in Poland and urban renewal. Alina promotes social rental housing, active role of the local governments in housing policy, including social housing, housing projects in urban renewal programmes.
2. Freek Spinnewijn
Freek Spinnewijn has been the director of FEANTSA since 2001. FEANTSA, the European Federation of National Organisations Working with Homeless People, is a European network of NGOs working on the issue of homelessness. It has members in 30 European countries. FEANTSA is the only major European network that focuses exclusively on homelessness at European level. Freek studied Medieval History and European Law and Policy at the University of Leuven (BE). After some short work placements at the UN in Geneva and the EU in Brussels, he became director of EPSO, a European network of seniors’ organisations. In 2001, Freek took up his current position of director of FEANTSA. Freek sits on board of several European organisations such as the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN), and Social Services Europe.
3. David Ireland
David Ireland is Chief Executive of World Habitat a UK based international housing charity that helps scale up solutions to the world’s housing problems; from slum upgrading to post-disaster housing and homelessness. It operates the World Habitat Awards, the world’s leading international housing award in partnership with UN-Habitat, and runs programmes aimed at ending street homelessness and scaling up community-led housing. David was previously CEO of Empty Homes Agency where he persuaded successive UK governments to introduce legislation and fund programmes to get empty homes into use. He was awarded OBE in 2013 for services to housing.
4. Zsolt Szegfalvi
Experienced Executive Director with a demonstrated history of working in the civic & social organization industry. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations development, Campaign management, Corporate Social Responsibility, Fundraising, Activism. Strong organizational development professional with a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) focused in Ship Architecture and Engineering from Széchenyi István University.
5. Risto Ivanov
Risto Ivanov holds a PhD in economic sciences, CMC (Certified Management Consultant) and PMP (Project manager Professional), with over 20 years’ management consultant experience in private sector development and advisory services for companies in the Republic of North Macedonia and Western Balkans. He is experienced in business model development and finance facilitator of SMEs business growth. His work is related to all private sectors development with specialization on tourism and Information and Communication Technology. He has designed and implemented a Coaching program for sales increase of SMEs and consultancy firms. His current role is finance facilitator in IME project and he holds the position of a president of the Association for Business and Consultancy Kreacija Skopje.
6. Ian Moverley
As the Director of Communications & Public Affairs at Whirlpool Corporation in the UK, Ian Moverley sets the strategy and objectives to deliver the company vision to improve life at home for millions of UK families who own and use their products on a daily basis. He has worked at Whirlpool for 25 years across a variety of fields including communications, government relations, brand and digital marketing. More recently he led the company’s recent UK product recalls for washing machines and tumble dryers with a particular attention to improve recall engagement rates amongst vulnerable groups. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Humberside and Master’s degree in marketing from Nottingham Trent University.
7. Sorcha Edwards
Sorcha Edwards is secretary general of Housing Europe, the European Federation of public, cooperative, and social housing providers in Europe.
ShelterTech Award for Technology
1. Dr. Christin ter Braak-Forstinger, LL.M.
CEO | Co-Founder
Dr. Christin ter Braak-Forstiner, LL.M. is the co-founder and CEO of Chi Impact Capital an independent and female powered Impact Fund Advisor based in Zurich/Switzerland. Christin is passionate about pro-actively making the shift towards a regenerative and deep impact economy a reality. Christin has a long-standing experience and track record in the financial services sector & impact investing; She completed her Doctoral Thesis at Harvard Law School (summa cum laude) and her Master Studies at Duke Law School; Christin is a regular author, key-note speaker and long-time university lecturer in impact investing. Her last book is “Conscious Investing”; Privately, Christin is the co-founder of award winning NGO Braveaurora, active in North Ghana since 2009.
2. Johann Baar
An expert in international relations and foreign policy, Johann previously worked with the Robert Bosch Foundation, where he established the Robert Bosch Academy as a space for multilateral dialogue in Berlin, focused on finding solutions for key global challenges of the 21st century. He also took responsibility for other initiatives of the Bosch Foundation, including the European Fund for the Balkans and the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Academy. Johann joined the Hilti Foundation in 2017, covering a portfolio of projects related to social development, housing, and economic empowerment. In 2019, he was appointed as Director of Affordable Housing and Technology and Member of the Executive Board. In this role, he also serves as a Member of the Board of the Base Bahay Foundation in Manila.
3. Julieta Moradei
As a Partner and founding member of Hometeam Ventures, Julieta drives dealflow and operations of the venture fund investing in founders bringing breakthrough technology to the world’s largest – but least innovative – industries: construction and housing.
Previously, she was the Head of R+D at New Story and an engineer at Arup. At New Story, she formed 50+ partnerships with key academic and industry leaders (Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Thornton Tomasetti, Arup, SOM, etc.) to pioneer groundbreaking solutions for affordable housing. In partnership with ICON, New Story permitted and built the world’s first 3D-printed housing community.
She has an M.S. in structural engineering from UC Berkeley, a bachelor’s in structural engineering and architecture, and was a research assistant in Boston, Berkeley, and Switzerland. Her academic and industry research in AEC is focused on circular economy, virtual reality, automated drone inspection, resiliency, and sustainability. Julieta is passionate about bridging the gap between architecture, engineering, and construction through collaborative design to maximize innovation for social impact.
4. Antonia Krische Reitmayer
She is a Senior Manager of Public Affairs at Wienerberger AG
5. Patrick Kelley
Patrick leads Habitat for Humanity International’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter (TCIS). The TCIS works to develop market-based solutions for improved and affordable housing by strengthening affordable housing value chains, stimulating innovation and enterprise solutions for shelter, mobilizing investment capital to move housing solutions to scale, and leading research and thought leadership that influence more vibrant and resilient housing markets. The Terwilliger Center launched the MicroBuild Fund- a $100 million impact capital fund for innovative housing finance, the ShelterTech accelerator to nurture early stage companies bringing innovation to affordable housing, the Shelter Venture Capital Fund, and the Innocentive crowd-source challenges. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and has a Master’s Degree from Princeton University in Economic Public Policy and International Development. He is on the board of directors for the SEEP network, EarthEnable, MicroBuild India, and teaches a course Inclusive Markets at Emory University’s Laney Graduate School. He is based in Atlanta with his wife Melissa and their two children.