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EHF supports the continuation of the European Parliament URBAN Intergroup

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EHF supports the continuation of the European Parliament URBAN Intergroup

The European Housing Forum (EHF) is an informal platform gathering representative organisations of the entire housing sector – consumers, providers and professionals – in order to share their expertise and raise the issues that this sector faces towards the EU institutions. The EHF currently has 15 members, all of which are major international or European organisations working in the area of housing using the network of their numerous national organisations all over Europe. As it has done in the past, the EHF is keen on further 
supporting the European Parliament’s work in the housing field. Although the European Union does not have a mandate to take action on housing issues, there is a great variety of important aspects which can be addressed through related topics (e.g. regional and economic development, social and health related issues, access to finance, energy efficiency, internal market, etc.) and/or in the more informal framework that intergroups provide.

For that purpose, we are strongly supporting the continuation of the URBAN intergroup. Should this Intergroup be renewed, we are committed to continue to actively participate in its activities.Moreover, we advocate for a strengthened housing focus to be given to this intergroup. To ensure sufficient participation of key stakeholders in the intergroup meetings we would also favour the organisation of these meetings in the Brussels premises of the European Parliament, even if we realise that it might be difficult because of the internal rules of the European Parliament.

Regarding the topics related to housing to be addressed in this framework we would like to suggest the followings:
- Affordability of housing (ownership versus tenancy)/ profitability for owners, builders and developers
- Access to finance for private and public property owners
- Access to (affordable/adequate) housing, with for example a focus on youth, elderly or low-income households tackling notably housing exclusion and homelessness
- Promotion of tenure-neutral housing policies 
- Urban planning issues and housing market recommendations in relation to the EU Semester
- Urban development policies to support sustainable and high quality built environment
- Energy efficiency of buildings (financial incentives for homeowners, tenants and landlords to offset costs, standards, etc.)