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25.9.2017 - YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE FIELD OF HOUSING FROM AMSTERDAM VISITING HOUSING CENTER

A group of 20 young professionals from Amsterdam, who are in various ways dealing with housing issues, social housing in particular, visited Housing Center, with the desire to exchange experiences in the field of housing in Serbia and the Netherlands, and to learn more about Housing Center's work. After a few introductory presentations on Housing Center's work and realized projects, a lively and interesting debate was opened.

The guests wanted to know more details about the social housing system in Serbia and Belgrade - how the social housing system functions, what is the percentage of apartments that are rented in subsidized rent compared to the total number of apartments, which locations are defined for social housing in Belgrade, which are the minimum standards for the design of apartments for social housing, how the social integration of beneficiaries is supported, etc. Also, they were interested in how our organisation is financed, what kind of social role Housing Center has as an association, etc. There was also some talking about the refugee crisis and how the city of Amsterdam responded to it in the sphere of housing.

Amsterdam has a developed social housing system. Over 40% of the housing stock is leased out, 40% is for sale under favorable conditions and only 20% is intended for the market. Each investor has the obligation to respect these percentages when building new apartments. Despite this, residents protest, demanding the number of apartments for subsidized leases to be much higher than it is. The "Housing for All" Campaign, initiated by Housing Europe in 2016, was successful and generated concrete proposals related to the massive construction of public, social and cooperative housing.

We hope that one day the City of Belgrade and the Republic of Serbia will see how social housing is important for all social groups, social inclusion and community compactness.

 
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