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The Conference "Ageing in Central Europe" was held at 25th October 2012 in Prague, Národní 3, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Present socio-demographic changes are expected to result in a dramatic increase of the number of elderly and vulnerable people in most developed countries. This fact represents a challenge for various stakeholders, such as policy makers, academics, NGOs providers etc. Simultaneous improvement of health conditions and higher level of autonomy of older people raise the issue of housing and care solutions for people who wish to grow old in their homes and keep control over their lives.

The objective of the conference was to present selected preliminary results of the research conducted under the project "Housing and Home-care for the Elderly and vulnerable people and Local Partnership Strategies in Central European cities" (HELPS) which tries to deal with possible solutions in the field of housing and home care. The main focus was an international comparison of contextual factors that enable or obstruct different kinds of solutions, and discussion of needs in the area of housing and home care for elderly in Central European countries.

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Conference speakers presented most interested research findings gathered during solution of the reserach project "Regional disparities in availability and affordability of housing, their socio-economic consequences and tools directed to increase availability and affordability of housing and decrease the regional disparities" supported by the Ministry for Regional Development. Moreover, they will introduce modified or completely new housing policy tools (like for example, system of guaranteed housing) which would:

  • increase availability and affordability of housing;
  • decrease the regional disparities in availability and affordability of housing;
  • decrease negative socio-economic consequences of low availability and affordability of housing and high regional disparities in availability and affordability of housing - especially consequences on demographic behaviour patterns of young generation, flexibility of labour and spatial social segregation of households endangered by unaffordability of housing;
  • increase availability of particular types of housing especially in regions where there is high discrepance between housing supply and housing need (housing demand) of particular types of housing;
  • increase availability of housing through particular effective and efficient tools on housing refurbishment;
  • increase availability of housing through the introduction of new forms of rental housing.

As conference speakers were invited also famous housing researchers from the Netherlands (Peter Boelhouwer and Hugo Priemus) and from the Scotland (Suzanne Fitzpatrick).

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The role and the “power” of housing and mortgage markets is quickly changing around the world especially by increasing influence these markets have on wider economy and sustainable development of many societies (social cohesion). While many conditions especially in economic and institutional spheres stimulate certain convergence and integrations of housing markets, many locally specific conditions namely in social and cultural areas contribute to differences and segmentations within housing markets. Unification and differentiation go hand in hand.

Do we need new paradigm to enable a better understanding of changing housing markets?

Have traditionally local housing markets become global?

Will record house price appreciations be followed by record price falls?

How should we deal with the consequences of income polarization and housing market segmentation?

Místo konání konference

The Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Regional Development organized an international seminar Social Housing in Europe 2000. The seminar was held in the Image Theatre in Prague on the 6th and 7th October 2000. With the support of the Hungarian Cultural Institute, the Slovak Institute and the Polish Cultural Institute, many well-known housing researchers from the countries of European Union and Central and Eastern Europe discussed problems, trends and the future of social housing in Europe. The main participants included Prof. Hugo Priemus from Delft University (Netherlands), Dr. Kenneth Gibb from Glasgow University (Great Britain), Dr. Ivan Tosics and Ms. Eva Geröhazi from the Metropolitan Research Institute in Budapest (Hungary), Mr. Zdislaw Slabkowicz from the Forum of Social Housing Associations in Warsaw (Poland), Ms. Alina Muziol- Weclawowicz from the National Economy Bank in Warsaw (Poland), Ms. Elena Szolgayova from the Ministry for Construction and Regional Development in Bratislava (Slovakia), Ms. Jaroslava Zapletalova from the Institute of Housing in Bratislava (Slovakia), etc. Czech researchers, policy-makers, politicians and pressure groups concerned with housing and urban policy also participated in the discussion. The seminar was held in English.

The seminar programme and abstracts of presentations are listed below.