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Affordable Housing District Demonstrator (IA)


Industrial symbiosis needs to be fostered amongst most relevant partners engaged in construction and renovation of social housing facilities. The local and regional dimension is important since local energy and utility networks, adjacent industrial infrastructures and available by-products and services in such districts needs to be considered in a holistic and integrated approach.

Where appropriate, projects can address COVID-19 related challenges and opportunities such as reorganisation of housing areas and districts, conversion of office buildings into housing units, (inter)generational living, housing facilities addressing new work-life standards and needs, neighbourhoods driving local economic activity and new entrepreneurial opportunities, energy price shocks, increased material costs, etc.

When proposing the demonstrating district, projects are expected to address all following aspects:

  • Identify districts that are ""ready to go"" or at least in an advanced planning stage allowing the integration of an “extra mile” effort in terms of one or more innovation strands.
  • As a basic condition, energy efficiency and insulation aspects should be already integrated in the renovation scheme; potentially including local renewable energy production and energy communities.
  • Generate results that are replicable for other districts. In this context ‘replicable’ is to be understood as: outcomes generated by the demonstrator projects’ implantation (for example, know-how, innovative solutions, proof of feasibility, new business models, adapted and scaled technology usage, policy recommendations, guidelines, prototypes, demonstrators, databases and datasets, trained researchers, new infrastructures, networks) should be directly usable or transferable for implementation after the project ends. Results should be appropriately documented to serve as guidance for actors in other territories outside the project interested in applying or adapting the solutions to their specific context.
  • Plan actions for overcoming relevant barriers for renovation at district level (e.g. regulatory limits, lack of trust amongst different stakeholders, lack of private investors and awareness of the integrated approach potential);
  • Guarantee a majority (+50%) of social housing dwellings including a dominant focus on affordability for the remaining dwellings.
  • Ensure to prevent potential perverse effects are taken into account such as energy poverty, gentrification effect, creaming and 'renovictions' or ‘ghettoisation’ and make sure resident engagement is embedded.

In terms of project design and methodology, proposals should include:

  • The development of an ambitious, mission-oriented, quality co-design process, based on citizens’ and stakeholders' participation and multidisciplinary and multilevel collaboration An ambitious and credible executive plan that identifies and analyses the challenges and resources of a given territory (e.g. neighbourhood, district, ecosystem) in terms of sustainability (in line with the European Green Deal), inclusiveness (including social cohesion, accessibility and affordability) and aesthetics (including functionality, comfort, attractiveness, etc.).
  • Deployment of an initial set of solutions as demonstrators within a two-year timeframe, accompanied by a rigorous impact evaluation methodology. Involvement in the testing of the innovation actions within the demonstrators with international experts.
  • A detailed roadmap for implementation, with a sustainable financial plan identifying potential and substantial additional investment based on involvement and partnerships with different actors (national, regional, local, public and private sources).
  • Projects are expected to participate in European-level networking opportunities in the context of the Affordable Housing Initiative
  • Projects are expected to contribute to the New European Bauhaus initiative by interacting with the New European Bauhaus Community, NEBLab and other relevant actions of the initiative through sharing information, best practice, and, where relevant, results.

    In the context of this topic, geographical areas of the European Union and Associated Countries are NUTS level 1 regions of European Union Member States and of Associated Countries for which they are defined. In the case of Associated Countries without NUTS classification, the country as a whole is to be considered as one geographical area:

  • List of Associated Countries not defined by NUTS level 1: Armenia; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Faroe Islands; Georgia; Kosovo;[[This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.]] Israel; Moldova; Tunisia; Ukraine.
  • List of countries not defined by NUTS level 1 with which association negotiations are being processed or where association is imminent: Morocco.