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Future challenges for social housing in Europe

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City of Vienna

Vienna House Brussels is hosting a workshop on the future challenges for social housing in Europe on 13 November.

As a growing city, Vienna must adapt to some 30,000 new inhabitants each year. This means investing heavily in infrastructure and affordable homes, which the city has been doing for a number of years. Vienna now has a communal housing stock of around 220,000 homes and a further 160,000 apartments from cooperative and not-for-profit housing companies.

Vienna will host a workshop at Vienna House in Brussels on 13 November to address new perspectives for the EU financial and legislative framework around social housing, in the context of the upcoming revision of the Almunia Package. The Commission is due to start preparing this revision next year, to happen in 2017.

Investing in affordable housing puts pressure on Vienna’s budget, and current European regulations mean that this kind of long term public investment is categorised as debt, adding to the national deficit. This issue is facing growing criticism among urban, housing and public finance stakeholders around Europe.

This workshop is a chance to gather good practices from stakeholders in the field of communal, social and cooperative housing in Europe, especially with regards the protection of tenants and small home owners. Many housing providers are facing increasing pressure and greater demand due to the large number of refugees arriving in Europe, so this is a timely opportunity to have this discussion. Vienna hopes to exchange experiences and collect ideas and arguments for a common strategy for affordable housing in Europe. This is an opportunity to identify the solutions, problems and needs that local and regional authorities face in national and European legislation and other challenges around social housing.

Using an interactive ‘world cafe’ format and featuring experts from different fields, the sessions will address:

  • Financing models in different cities, regions and states

  • The role of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other EU funds

  • Housing and country specific recommendations

  • The impact of EU state aid/competition policy on social housing

The event is being organised jointly by the city of Vienna and the International Union of Tenants. To register, contact Isabelle Vonhoff ( by 10 November.

Venue & timing:

13 November, 9.30-12.30, followed by a networking lunch

Vienna House Brussels

Avenue de Tervuren 58

1040 Brussels


Michaela KauerHead of office