Friday 7 June - 11H30 / 16H30
Special Event UCLY

Conference : European High-level Roundtable on Housing: Bridging the Gap in Affordable Housing

Joining forces to bridge the gap in affordable, adequate, energy efficient housing.

Housing affordability is one of the most complex policy challenges that societies in Europe face. While national, regional and local governments are working to implement solutions to address the mismatch between housing supply and housing demand, the challenge of low housing affordability persists. This is particularly the case for large cities, where the gap between housing supply and demand, both in terms of the overall statistics and tenures, has been increasing at high rate. Making sure that everybody has access to adequate housing in cities requires governments, in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, to develop and adopt strategic long-term plans which would include activities across different sectors and levels of governance. In addition, present and future affordable homes need to meet environmental sustainability standards to substantially lower their environmental impact. This will require the application of innovative financial instruments to support relevant activities.

The European High-Level Roundtable on Housing will build upon key documents issued by the United Nations, Housing Europe and the Committee of the Regions, namely the “2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development”, the “Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing”, the “Action Plan of the Housing Partnership” under the Urban Agenda for the EU, the “State of Housing in Europe Report” and the “Towards a European Agenda on Housing” report.

The High-Level Roundtable will bring together senior officials responsible for housing and urban affairs, representatives of local and regional authorities, housing providers, experts and representatives of international organisations to discuss and exchange experiences in bridging the gap in affordable, adequate and energy efficient housing.

The High-Level Roundtable will focus on the following key questions:

  • What are the major causes for the growing mismatch between housing supply and housing demand in your city or country? What would you change in the current system of housing delivery?
  • To what extent would decentralizing responsibility over housing provision to the city level impact the supply of an adequate number and type of affordable homes? What are the challenges related to the decentralisation of authority?
  • What policy approaches are used to promote the social and environmental sustainability of newly built and existing housing units in your city or country?
  • What is required to shift the focus from housing as a commodity to housing as a service? Can you give a practical example of public policies, programmes or specific projects which have been successful at bringing this concept forward?



11:30-12:00 Opening of the High-Level Roundtable on Housing

  • Moderator: Mr. Cédric Van Styvendael, President, Housing Europe, General Manager of Est Metropole Habitat, Villeurbanne Region, France
  • Welcome remarks:
    • Julien Denormandie, Minister responsible for cities and housing, Ministry of Territorial Cohesion of France (tbc)
    • David Kimelfeld, President of Lyon Metropole


  • Elena Szolgayova, Chair of UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management, UNECE; and Director General, Ministry of Transport and Construction, Slovak Republic
  • Hicham Imane, Member of the European Committee of the Regions
  • Christophe Lalande, Leader, Housing Unit – Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch, UN-Habitat

12:00-13:30 Session 1: Providing Affordable Housing with a Low Environmental Impact

Moderation by: Ms. Beatriz Corredor Sierra, Member of the Parliament and Former Minister of Housing, Spain

Buildings is one of the major sources of carbon emissions. Therefore, housing needs to meet environmental sustainability standards to substantially lower the environmental impact of the buildings sector. This will require the application of innovative financial instruments. Representatives of national, regional and local governments, international financial institutions, housing providers and other stakeholders will address key issues of decreasing environmental impact of housing and promoting climate neutrality. The participants will share best practices and formulate recommendations for possible solutions and instruments to promote environmental sustainability of housing.


  • Ales Prijon, State Secretary Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Slovenia
  • Maja-Marija Nahod, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning of Croatia
  • Jens Schumacher, Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU, Germany

Panel discussion

  • Reinhard Six, Senior Engineer Energy Efficiency Division, European Investment Bank
  • Mårten Lilja, Vice-Chairman, Rijkbyggen, Swedish Housing Cooperatives
  • Marnix Norder, Chairman, Aedes – Dutch Social Housing Federation
  • Andres Jaadla, Chairman, EKYL – Estonian Association of Housing Cooperatives
  • Sven Bergenstråhle, President, International Union of Tenants

13:30-14:30 Lunch break

14:30-16:00 Session 2: Housing as a Service in Welfare 2.0

  • Moderation by Bent Madsen, Chairperson, BL – Danish Social Housing Federation 
    • Putting social inclusion at the heart of affordable housing provision will be essential to meet growing urban challenges such as migration, social exclusion and an ageing population. Dealing with these issues effectively requires stakeholders from different governance levels and sectors to adopt an inclusive and strategic approach to housing. In this context, panellists will be requested to provide their view on how to shift the focus from housing as a mere commodity to housing as service and basic human need.


  • Javier Martin, Secretary General Director for Architecture, Housing and Urban Policy, Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Housing, Spain
  • Daniela Grabmüllerová, Director, International Relations Department, Ministry of Regional Development, Czech Republic
  • Doris Andoni, Director of Housing, Ministry of Finance and Economy, Albania

Panel discussion

  • Willem Adema, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD
  • Tony Mulhall, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, UK
  • Jaana Närö, Chairperson, KOVA – Finnish Social Housing Federation
  • Bjorn Mallants, Chairperson, VVH – Flemish association of social housing companies
  • Edoardo Reviglio, Chief Economist of CDP,Cassa Depositi e PrestitiRepresentatives of national, regional and local governments, international financial institutions, housing providers and other stakeholders will present and discuss.

 16:00 – 16:30 Wrap Up and Next Steps moderation by Ms. Elena Szolgayova, Chair of UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management, UNECE

  • Sorcha Edwards, Housing Europe, Secretary General: presentation of Housing Europe’s Affordability Review
  • Michaela Kauer, City of Vienna, Co-Coordinator of the EU Urban Agenda Housing Partnership and Member of EUROCITIES Executive Committee
  • Kerstin Jorna, Deputy Director General, DG ECFIN

For more information on the Roundtable, please contact:

  • At Housing Europe: Ms. Sorcha Edwards, Secretary General of Housing Europe, at sorcha.edwards@housingeurope.euor +32 2 541 05 68
  • At Lyon Métropole:Ms. Corinne Aubin-Vasselin, Director of Housing for Lyon Metropole, at or +33 4 26 83 97 39.
  • At UNECE: Ms. Gulnara Roll, Secretary of the Committee on Housing and Land Management, at gulnara.roll@un.orgor + 41 22 917 5793


Register by May 31st to attend