Our Project

With property market racing out of control and major democratic, economic and social changes in urban areas, new requirements for social housing, and even for "highly socialised housing" have emerged in the cities. The first objective of the SUITE network was to cooperate among partners to optimise a sustainable, and affordable supply of housing and to assure social cohesion through social mix and sustainable housing.

Our common objective is to make decisive steps forward in developing higher levels of sustainable housing provision, in the respective local context, considering both the social and environmental perspectives. By combining both perspectives SUITE aims at the improvement of the steering ability of local authorities within an urban policy field characterized by a dynamic development in terms of economical, social, ecological and demographic challenges. This higher level of policy would be based on a broad involvement of different local actors, using open methods of cooperation/participation and a substantial responsiveness for needs of different social groups.

TOPIC

Challenges

SUITE project, "Social and Urban Inclusion Through Housing" deals with a major social challenge: inequality in access to housing. The challenge facing the public authorities is part of a wider problem of urban and social exclusion. Working for social and urban integration means implementing housing policies that guarantee housing that is not only affordable but also of good-quality and sustainable. This promotes the social inclusion of the populations and the urban integration of neighbourhoods and housing in cities.

Key point of focus

The provision of adequate "social housing" and a good social mix are identified as main tools to reach the objectives of our project.

Interaction and good governance of local authorities, private sector organizations such as science, architects, building industry, users, housing managers, housing associations, market, etc. should lead to producing economy viability. The outcome should be affordability of decent housing for a broad population, including low income and the most disadvantaged groups. This will play a key role in a "social mix policy".

 

High environmental quality is identified as another main tool to reach this objective. Similar methods, interaction and good governance of the stakeholders mentioned above should also lead to a high environmental quality standard. The outcome should be sustainable quality housing.

Applying and combinig these tools, as an overall result, the outcome should be affordable housing with a high environmental standard for a broad population, including low income and the most disadvantaged groups.

A word from the lead partner

What motivates you to be part of the URBACT adventure ?
In spite of not having previous experience in an URBAN project, the city was already interested in that Europan program of capitalization and experiences exchange among European cities with a view to participate in some of the actions that would be created for this first call of the second program. In adition, Santiago develops "social housing policies" since the seventies and continues to do so with the new General Town Planning Plan recently approved.

Who would you like to benefit from the work achieved in your project?
Xosé A. Sánchez Bugallo, Santiago's Mayor words: ·"because of our interest in Europe and in discovering what other cities are doing in this area and because of our achieved experience in this issue, we have a good opportunity to organize a thematic network dedicated to discuss and to collect good practices already done in this field to disseminate at European, national, regional and local levels".