Andres Jaadla, member of the European Committee of the Regions from Rakvere City Council, and Chairman of the Estonian Union of Co-operative Housing Associations EKYL, is proposing an opinion on “Smart, sustainable and affordable housing as a tool for local authorities to face multiple challenges”, in which the CoR could adopt its first comprehensive position on the topic since 2017.
With this opinion, the CoR would take stock of the ongoing initiatives related to housing, look at the situation on the ground and call for a substantial new investment and policy focus on both private and public housing, which could boost the local economic base and help reverse demographic trends; it could help cities and regions do their part to respect international obligations regarding reception and integration of refugees, it could mean a critical contribution to the climate objectives and bolster our climate resilience in the face of increasingly frequent catastrophic events, which the existing housing stock is ill-equipped to face.
The opinion would reflect on the first year of the New European Bauhaus, which was launched in 2022 and has already mobilised over 100 million EUR through diverse MFF programmes.
The NEB is also a central part of the “100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030” mission in the EU, one of five missions that have elevated importance and focus on the union on the road to 2030. It could assess the success of the affordable housing initiative, and particularly how the different initiatives interact, and call for their scaling up and a better and faster uptake across Member States. At the same time, the persisting obstacles, such as state-aid rules, land zoning and planning permits and administrative burdens, would be looked at.
Text and photo: The European Committee of the Regions