International Union of Tenants has always stressed that social housing is not only about providing people with “a roof over their head”, but it should encompass a set of responsible practices in order to effectively achieve the social inclusion of residents. This means several things to tenants: involvement in decisions, proximity to services and jobs, provision of relevant information and training opportunities, etc. Following this vision, the IUT joined a European partnership working on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) consisting of Housing Europe and DELPHIS, a global and French network of social housing providers respectively. In 2013 the three partners kick-started the “European Responsible Housing Initiative” – ERHIN – a project co-financed by European Commission’s DG Enterprise. ERHIN aimed at promoting social responsibility in the housing sector through the creation of a voluntary framework at European level. The main idea behind “responsible housing” is to improve tenants’ conditions through fair relations and structured dialogue between landlords and their stakeholders, including tenants associations.
For the full history of ERHIN please see section 3 here.