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Today, more than 120 millions of inhabitants all over Europe are living in 35 millions units of the social housing stock. Starting its development in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, social housing depends on a varied range of housing policies implemented by national authorities. As a result, in many European countries, social housing is managed by various Social Housing Operators (SHO's), the legal status of which can be public companies (France), tenants cooperatives (Denmark), private but public owned companies (Sweden, Czech republic), foundations or housing associations ( U.K., Netherlands) and sometimes directly by a department of a public authority ( U.K., Italy). Due to their national history and to their institutional status, the regulation of social housing always depends on different ways on public authorities (either national, territorial or local).

Nonetheless, this regulation which can be direct or indirect aspects, involves various stakeholders not only the public authorities as a counterpart of the past and present subsidies, but also the professional unions which represent the SHOs, the tenants or ?inhabitants' associations and most of the time, other social institutions in charge of supporting low income households. This regulation exists and will exit as long as the SHOs will assume a service of general interest and will continue to receive subsidies for providing an affordable housing to the poorest part of the population. On the other side, the national housing policies which apply the EU directives in their national contexts promote an improvement of the energy efficiency of the housing stock. As there is no integration between social policies and energy policies, the impact of the energy policy on the social housing stock is not treated specifically. In the best cases, the national laws indicate some global solutions for the social housing but these remain vague and, most of the time, presuppose a will of cooperation between the stakeholders without showing how this cooperation should be set up. The project aims at providing methodologies and concrete tools which Professional Unions of social housing operators, which propose and lead the project, will use and valorise with the stakeholders above mentioned to remove the different obstacles still met by their members in their energy efficiency strategy. These obstacles, closely interrelated, consist in:

  1. Institutional and legal obstacles (those attached with the regulation of the rent will be especially targeted) (WP2)
  2. Technical and economical obstacles (How to change from the payment of heating or operating costs into a financial contribution ensuring the Return on Investments allocated to energy savings? How to deal with the prefabricated stocks (the famous ?Pannels? in the new member states) when you have in mind the worst energy performance and the incomes of the households?) (WP3)
  3. Cultural and social obstacles (How to influence occupiers and to implement an efficient co-operation with occupiers and the main stakeholders (social institutions and public authorities) as it seems that their formal agreement is most of the time required by the laws to change the economy of the social housing regarding the energy efficiency. (WP4)

Today SHO's and their unions are facing a new challenge: to be an active partner supporting the environmental policies promoted by local and territorial authorities according to the EU directives. In order to achieve the objectives of this challenge, the methodological tools developed in the frame of TACKOBST will enable them:

  1. To test the impact of the removal of institutional obstacles in the micro-economy. This testing will have to prove the economic feasibility of the new promoted solutions.
  2. To lobby the national authorities showing what performing solutions in terms of social regulation have been implemented in other European countries and could be tested in their own countries.
  3. To disseminate in the professional branch the methodological tools and the high profile examples produced in the frame through the publication of an e-news letter and pedagogical materials supported by the project web site, the holding of national workshops.