Policy and Research


Jaana Nevalainen
Ministry of Environment
Housing and Building Department
P.O. Box 35
00023 Government

Steffen Wetzstein
KrämerLoft Offices, Bahnhofstrasse 16
99084 Erfurt

Central theme
The Working Group Policy and Research was re-launched in July 2014 under the auspices of the ENHR co-ordination committee with the aim to provide a platform for exchange and mutual learning between researchers, policy makers and practitioners involved in housing across Europe. Rather than carrying out regular workshops and/or issuing calls for papers annually, this Working Group aims to act transversely cross the existing thematic ENHR Working Groups in a co-ordinating and enabling capacity. The aim is to organise a panel discussion or a dialogic plenary session or a dialogic Working Group session where policy makers and researchers can discuss a given housing related topic and/or other collaborative activities every second year.

Activities and output in recent years
In 2018, the Working Group has been focusing on ‘affordable urban housing for all’ – arguably one of the great social and economic challenges of our time. Related to the theme of affordability, the Working Group has organised two vents. First, a panel discussion was held in Uppsala on 29 June 2018. Secondly, the Working Group has been organising the ENHR Working Group Policy and Research’ Critical Dialogue Affordable Housing Visit to Dublin’ seminar alongside the (Irish) Housing Agency, which will be held in Dublin 7 December 2018.

Panel discussion held at the ENHR conference in Uppsala on 29 June 2018
A ‘Critical Dialogue Session – Affordable Urban Housing for All’ was held in Uppsala on 29 June 2018 and aimed to rebuild the alliance between policymakers and knowledge producers around the pressing topic of affordable urban housing. Policymakers and housing researchers were called upon to enter into a close critical dialogue and exchange their understandings of the challenges we are facing in terms of affordable housing and possible solutions. The aim also was to narrow the gap between research and policy/ practice and to find mutually beneficial forms of co-learning and communication to tackle the challenge of the lack of affordable housing.

Soon after the Critical Dialogue Session in Uppsala, the (Irish) Housing Agency invited the Working Group to the Irish capital to renew the idea of a critical dialogue between policy and research in both the European and Irish contexts. The Working Group has been organising the Dublin discussion alongside the Housing Agency.

In 2019, the Working Group has been focusing on ‘affordable urban housing for all’, as it did also 2018. Related to the theme of affordability, the Working Group has had contacts with different housing organisations. The Working Group was also invited (by the Housing and Land Management of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) to be a co-organiser of the panel discussion on housing affordability of the Committee on Housing and Land Management during the UN Sustainable Cities Week 2019 in early October in Geneva, Switzerland. Unfortunately, due to external reasons this cooperation did not realized. However, there has been discussion on co-operation in the future.

Future plans and activities
The Working Group has planned to have a session in the ENHR Conference in Nicosia. The session will focus on affordable housing.