The Beginning

The European Citizens’ Initiative #housingforall

Highly Motivated!

In 2019, Karin Zauner-Lohmeyer und Zmary Gharwal worked together on a European Citizens’ Initiative #housingforall. She as a spokeswoman, he as campaign coordinator. Together they stood up and promoted the issues on affordable housing trying to raise signatures. To be precise, one million signatures. To be fair, it didn’t work out with the signatures, but what they learned and experienced was: it does not need signatures, it needs awareness and persistence. Knowledge exchange and a network to collect, verify and share information of all areas!

So, they decided to start the network Housing4Europe.Org and do exactly this – raising awareness on affordable, social and decent housing in Europe. Their aim is to make the cause visible, to network and bring people together.

What they experienced was, the European Union – the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Committees – are open for the civil society perspective and their input. Asked to represent exactly that view there was no doubt, that they both want to move on. Move on and make it more sustainable. Why only showing one perspective, when all perspectives – all players must become visible.

Not only they experienced the lack of visibility of the civil society perspective, but they also saw, that either the local mayors are involved as they should, or the economy and their representatives. Or let us be more specific: they are represented, but they only work for their credits, from their perspective. Which, honestly, makes no sense at all! That’s why the network will try to “square the circle”, as the founders both call the challenge.

A smart European politician told them: “Stop collecting signatures, start raising awareness, people will listen and you will achieve a lot!”

The Experience

The European Citizens’ Initiative #housingforall

Sad Truth!

The Result

The European Housing Awareness Network #housing4europe

Rehab Is Over!
Even More Motivated!

If you try to square the circle, you try to do something that is very difficult or impossible.

Housing4Europe.Org as a network and platform try to square the circle by providing interviews, articles, analyzes and reports of affected citizens, mayors, local and European politicians as well as housing experts on current housing issues. It presents best practices and solutions from all over Europe in order to inspire decision-makers.

Affordable and decent housing is a cross-cutting issue, very closely related to other aspects of welfare systems. The European Commission committed themselves to a set of 20 principles and rights in 2017. President Juncker proclaimed: From the right to fair wages to the right to health care; from lifelong learning, a better work-life balance and gender equality to minimum income: with the European Pillar of Social Rights, the EU stands up for the rights of its citizens in a fast-changing world.