Creative ways to address housing exclusion

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On 16 July 2018, The Young Foundation and FEANTSA (the European Federation of Homeless Organisations) hosted a webinar on ‘creative ways to address housing exclusion’. Radhika Bynon from The Young Foundation discussed Reimagining Rent, the Young Foundation’s housing innovation programme, and Freek Spinnewijn discussed FEANTSA’s The Housing Solutions Platform.

The Housing Solutions Platform is a collaboration between FEANTSA, Friends of Europe, the Fondation Abbé Pierre and Housing Europe. The Platform enables these four leading organisations to share expertise to identify and promote innovative solutions for #affordablehousing in Europe, showcasing ambitious initiatives that have been tested in different European countries.

Reimagining Rent is the UK’s first #innovation programme supporting #newsolutions in the private rented sector. The Young Foundation have identified a number of ground-breaking innovations addressing specific aspects of the #socialchallenge and supporting these initiatives to grow their impact and become more sustainable. Through a programme of workshops, consultancy and access to experts, it helps participating teams strengthen their business model, demonstrate their #socialimpact and grow their potential to scale.

The webinar focused on different ways to address #housingexclusion and stories of creative methods that tackle the issue of affordable housing. In the context of housing being increasingly perceived and used as an asset and a financial product, the webinar explored approaches that can transform housing into a guaranteed right.

The discussion from participants highlighted different creative approaches to tackle #housingexclusion, how effective the methods they use are and what are the gaps and areas in addressing #housingexclusion that need to be tackled.

A number of key issues for tackling #housingexclusion were identified:

  1. The importance of #collaboration. As with most #socialinnovation processes, #collaboration between different stakeholders enriches the creation of #newsolutions and can facilitate change at a more systemic level, through the bringing together of different perspectives, skills and resources. Collaborations between key actors, bringing together public, private and social sectors, and bringing in end users from an early stage to design solutions should be the standard, not the exception.
  2. The need to support creativity and experimentation in housing solutions. Despite the fragmentation and complexity of the private rented sector, the Re-imagining Rent programme shows that there is a significant potential for #newideas to tackle specific aspects of the affordable housing challenge. What is needed is both an environment in which creativity is unlocked and key actors work together to co-create solutions, and the subsequent support for these ideas to flourish, be tested and implemented, and grown and scaled if effective.
  3. The socialisation of #privaterent. Many tenants on #lowincome, or those with poor credit scores or in receipt of housing benefit, struggle to find a landlord who will rent to them. Intermediary organisations can play a crucial role in facilitating better relationships between landlords and #vulnerabletenants or by acting as a guarantor or providing landlords some sort of incentive.

SIC partners are hosting webinars on different themes in the field of #SocialInnovation. Keep an eye on the SIC events calendar and if you want to share your own experience/work or want to learn more join us.

Monica Nagore, Shannon Downey and Radhika Bynon – The Young Foundation
Freek Spinnewijn – FEANTSA

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