Federation for
Housing and

York Housing Networking Event

Wednesday 15.04.2015 to Friday 17.04.2015
York, UK

European housing practitioners meet in York to identify and share today’s housing related issues.

In a scenario of global change and rapid urbanization European countries are experiencing an unprecedented demand pressures on housing in general - and on social and affordable housing in particular. Similarities among the countries exist regarding inadequate housing and increasing difficulties accessing housing and stating the different and numerous types of poverty and their impact on the housing rights. Recognized as a social service of general interest, the European Commission, in its Europe 2020 targets, has defined improved access to housing as one of the key actions. Increasing income gaps, social inequalities, shrinking households, rising of unemployment rates are all factors that undermine the housing system. There is a need to better understand the social and economic consequences of the housing market for individuals. “People are losing their homes. Let’s do something about this housing crisis. Affordable housing is a distant dream for thousands. We need to act now” titled The Guardian on Sept. 4th 2014.


In this perspective IFHP has embraced the proposal of IFHP Council member and Chair of IFHP Housing Working Group Stewart Shaw to take action trying to make an operational and effective Housing Working Group in the form of a networking event in York, UK, as a moment to point out and share today’s European housing related issues.


Expert housing practitioners meeting in York

In the framework of the IFHP programme 2015 dedicated to housing & habitat, IFHP, in collaboration with IFHP Council Member Stewart Shaw, Chair of the Housing Working Group, organises an international networking event in York, UK, to facilitate an inspiring exchange of views between UK Housing Professionals and those based elsewhere in Europe.


The meeting will address the European housing challenge from different angles and contexts underling multiple questions or approaches aiming at identifying areas of common and diverse housing related issues/challenges and debate potential solutions.
The 2 ½ day meeting is designed to allow 10 invited senior UK housing professionals to meet with10 of their European counterparts. Professionals will represent UK, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Finland and Germany.
The meeting will include a debate on the operation of the HWG and its relationship with IFHP. 



  • Formation of relationships with like-minded (or otherwise) housing professionals
  • Open debate on major housing issues affecting our urban environment
  • Draw conclusions on likely solutions to critical challenges
  • Share experiences of complex projects and their social policy impact
  • Feed in to the IFHP’s overall focus on housing & habitat
  • Discuss and agree actions for the Housing Working Group
  • Create a core group of professionals determined to carry out the HWG objectives able to co-produce and share competences and expertise with IFHP long term


In this sense the York Housing Networking event is a milestone in the IFHP programme. The York context offers the chance to address the housing challenges in middle size cities with a specific focus of the European experience with the hope to present the outcomes of this meeting at the IFHP Council Summit in Paris, 27-29 May 2015 and bring a distinctive contribution at the IFHP Summit at the end of the year. 


You can read more about the IFHP’s focus on Housing Challenge and the affiliated activities on


Site visit

The programme of this Networking event will include a Study tour at the Derwenthorpe,, RHT’s new community on the edge of York, where a research programme focuses on environmental and social sustainability. The visit is organized and run by the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust.


Participation to the York Housing Networking Event is upon invitation. Contributions from the delegates and final outcomes will be published and shared with the network in the coming weeks.



Profiles of the contributors.


Background references







Contact information

IFHP Team at  

Chair of IFHP Housing Working group, Stewart Shaw: