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Summary of the joint Alliance-Event on Housing in December 2012

Spanish Authorities

The Institute of Rehousing and Social Integration (IRIS), part of the Regional Transport, Infrastructure and Housing Government of the Autonomous Region of Madrid, in collaboration with the Council of Europe's European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion, convened an 'International Seminar on Public Policies of Housing for Roma' in Madrid on 17th December 2012.


The purpose of the seminar was to present the results of the study, carried out by IRIS and the University of Warwick, entitled "Leaving the slums behind: Impact Evaluation of IRIS Pro-Integration Housing Programme" concerning the regional government policy aiming to rehouse Roma families from shanty towns. In addition, representatives of different European cities were invited to the Seminar in order to share their experiences in the field of housing policies for Roma and to give contributions to the discussion regarding problems encountered, solutions provided and lessons learnt, with a view to adopting recommendations to be taken into account by other cities.


The seminar was attended by the Alliance representatives of Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Lisbon (Portugal), Beyoglu/Istanbul (Turkey), Veldhoven (Netherlands), Torino and Settimo Torinese (Italy), Tirana (Albania) and Region of Yorkshire (United Kingdom), Madrid and Malaga (Spain) as well as by 9 other Spanish cities and towns and a representative of the European Commission (Regional Policy).


As a result of the seminar, the IRIS intervention model was acknowledged to be one of the most successful programs for the integration of the Roma minority in Spain through the access to housing and could be transferred to other European cities and regions.


Participants expressed a general appreciation of the opportunity, to gain some knowledge of several successful examples of housing projects like IRIS-Madrid Pro-Integration Housing Programme through the Alliance networking. Their wish was to have Madrid seminar replicated with the support of leading cities which have effective policies in particular sectors such as housing.


The Seminar is to be considered as a consultative activity part of the start-up phase of the CoE's European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion with participating cities which have developed housing interventions for Roma following an integrated and inclusive approach.