Communities, Urban development

Community-led Housing in Europe shortlist


Who is behind this?

Bea Varnai



Who is joining forces?

Habitat et Participation




EPFL Social Computing Lab


Stiftung Trias (GER), Armoup (CH), Co-operative Housing International, CLT Network (UK), CLT Brussels

Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

Alongside public and private actors, organized inhabitant groups (Cooperatives, CLTs, Co-housing, etc.) play a crucial role in tomorrow’s sustainable urban development. In some Scandinavian and Swiss cities, civil society actors produce more than 20% of housing, while other countries have hardly any support policies for CLH. To implement the right to adequate housing, the initiative seeks to enhance experience exchange, inspire new projects and build a common vision and policy proposals on CLH.

Why does Europe need your idea?

Crisis and austerity severely affect the offer of affordable housing. Changing family structures, demographic transition, climate change and internal migration pose additional challenges in fast-growing metropolis and shrinking cities likewise. CLH initiatives do provide solutions: they develop sustainable and cost-effective housing, bring together several generations and strengthen social ties. However, their solutions often lack public awareness, visibility and adequate support.

What is your impact?

The aim is to disseminate existing CLH models, enhance experience exchange on legal forms, public policies, internal organization, sustainability, etc. and create solidarity mechanisms between local inhabitant groups (innovative financing mechanisms, SSE, etc.). By connecting local projects to relevant support actors (NGOs, public authorities, professionals, etc.), the initiatives seeks to enhance civic-public partnerships for sustainable and inclusive cities and to promote housing rights.

How do you get there?

A Project Call for a European ‘CLH Housing’ Award, inviting local initiatives across Europe to document their projects online, is launched. The representatives of national networks review the most voted project profiles and select 3 to 5 projects to present their experiences at a public meeting. A 10min video of each project is produced. Selected projects and new initiatives at the ‘preparatory’ stage participate in a best practice workshop. The Call will result in an online map that will be used to launch a European Open House Day of CLH, during which local initiatives across Europe welcome their neighbors, share their experiences, and inspire new projects. The target is to implement the process annually and to host the first public meeting in the Ruhr region in early 2017.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

The CLH Platform targets existing inhabitant groups across Europe, and individuals or local groups interested in strengthening their initiatives, gaining public recognition or launching new projects in their area. The Platform constitutes a reference for public authorities and professionals in the field of urban development and affordable housing, and seeks to inform relevant policy frameworks.European research institutes and universities also benefit from and contribute to the project database.

What makes your idea stand apart?

The CLH Europe initiative seeks to connect actors at the community level and privileges bottom-up strategies for building our cities genuinely “by and for their inhabitants”. It enhances innovative solutions for housing and community-organization (community savings, guarantee funds, anti-speculation mechanisms, etc.), and designs and rethinks innovative digital tools for local communities with the aim to develop a participatory, bottom-up, and user-narrated grassroots Platform.

€ 40000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 52000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

(In EUR) Travel and accommodation for the European meeting: 4 000,- ; Video and translation : 1 500,- ; Venue rental: 1 200; Web Development and Maintenance of the online Platform : 15 000,- ; Campaign for the award call : 800,- ; Campaign for the Open House Days: 1 500,- ; Partners preparatory meetings : 3 000,- ; Personal costs: 20 000 ; Other: approximately 5 000,-

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

This platform is in the making! If you are part of an inhabitant group, a professional in the field of urban planning (or related), a representative of a European network working on habitat issues or part of a local or national public authority, or would like to know more about this initiative - please get in touch : !



Idea created on Feb. 26, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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