Pandemic times are challenging for UIA projects especially when dealing with social actions that build on human interactions to reinforce the local community. In Ghent, the Ghent Knapt Op initiative is in the midst of its renovation wave of improving housing conditions for almost 85 households all financed by a recurring fund (find more about it here). In this article, the UIA Expert Martha Giannakopoulou demonstrates how the pandemic has triggered reflection on the vital role of housing but also renewed the understanding of the social support and assistance needed for vulnerable citizens, albeit in difficult times, to physically implement social actions.
Over the past 1.5 years, Urban Innovative Actions and URBACT joined forces to explore how cities can work together and design practical and effective solutions to implement the fundamental right to housing, resulting in the right2housing.eu platform. This one-stop shop gathers the knowledge harvested across the activity and essential and updated information about UIA and URBACT cities experiences on housing.
Covid-19 also impacted on the evaluation of the projects. In Mataró, it was one of the challenges that the Yes We Rent project faced while developing and implementing its evaluation strategy (read more here). Yet, evaluating the housing scheme put in place in Mataró is key for the project as it now aims at scaling up its housing cooperative model beyond the city boundaries. To find more about the housing cooperative and how to implement such ambitious project, read UIA Expert Nils Scheffler’s recap of the main recommendations.