International
Federation for
Housing and
Planning

Housing Working Group Meeting in Bucharest

Date(s): 
Sunday 18.10.2009 to Tuesday 20.10.2009
Location: 
Bucharest, Romania

Housing Finance

From 18 until 20 October 2009, the Housing and Urban Settlements Working Party came together for the 6th time. This year, the event took place in Bucharest, Romania. Over the period of three days, a group of eight people from Bucharest and eight visitors from other countries discussed the impact of the “credit crunch” and innovative solutions to boost or maintain housing supply in the currently adverse economic climate.

The meeting was hosted by Spiru Haret University, one of Romania’s preeminent educational establishments. In the true spirit of the IFHP, the event aimed to facilitate the exchange of ideas between local and visiting experts on the broad theme of housing finance.
 
LOCAL CONTEXT
The delegates were fortunate to receive an insightful presentation on the problems of the Romanian economy in general and housing fi nance. From the discussions, it became clear that housing is becoming increasingly important in Romanian politics, as the problems associated with transition from a almost wholly state owned housing stock in the soviet era to an almost wholly privately owned stock in the post soviet era combined with the current adverse funding climate present a series of significant policy challenges.
 
Two challenges seemed particularly significant:
• The need to deal with a legacy of under-funding in the maintenance and improvement of the existing housing stock, a problem that is common in many
other former eastern bloc countries.
• The shortage of “social” housing, or subsidised housing of some form, to meet the needs of the most poor in society. Following the collapse of communism, in common with most of the former soviet bloc, Romanian state owned housing was privatised almost en bloc.
 
INTERNATIONAL DISCUSSION
Participants were asked to present their papers on the following themes within the broad topic of housing finance:
• Availability of credit & finance / impact of the “credit crunch”; and,
• Maintaining/increasing housing supply in the current economic climate.
 
These themes were discussed through the following presentations:
  • IFHP Working Party Bucharest - Introduction by John McPeake
  • The Impact of Housing Policies on the Architecture of Bucharest by Ana Maria Hariton
  • Territorial Development of Housing in Bucharest City and Metropolitan Area by Doina Marilena Ciocanea
  • Housing Funding & Supply & Future. A Dutch approach by Frank Köster
  • Stimulating Housing Production and Finance -Case Finland by Jarmo Lindén
  • Credit and Export Guarantee Fund KredEx by Mirja Adler
  • Taylored Solutions for Housing in Today's Romania by Paul Puchini
  • Improving Housing Energy Efficiency by John Riley
  • First Romanian Passive Buildings by Ruxandra Crutescu
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