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Tackling Obstacles in Social Housing (TACKOBST)

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Better energy performance in social housing can only be achieved through progressive retrofitting of existing buildings. Despite new social housing legislation in several European countries and innovative professional practices among social housing operators, obstacles to efficient energy management remain. The project is led by a consortium of professional associations of social housing operators from four countries, which together are developing proposals designed to help key stakeholders overcome these obstacles.


  • Teaching guide written for housing companies with details of case studies and advice on improving energy efficiency, often at low cost.
  • Creation of a model agreement between tenant associations and housing companies on how the costs of refurbishment should be shared.
  • Book of recommendations for public authorities, tenant associations and architects. Suggestions include a change in the law in some Member States so the cost of refurbishment may be offset by rent increases (tenants will not pay more as they will benefit from energy savings).
  • A report completed on obstacles to energy efficiency policies in social housing in four countries.

Lessons learned

  • The major common problem in European countries managing huge rental housing stock is the tenant–landlord dilemma. But, the nature of this obstacle can be various among the European countries (legal in France, economic in Germany and more financial in Italy).
  • The energy efficiency of social housing sector must be considered as a whole integrating in the same time: legal, institutional, technical, economic, financial, social and cultural issues. To optimise TACKOBST solutions, recommendations must be linked to the others. For example, a good technical solution could be inefficient without a simultaneous training action of the tenants. A global approach is the key factor.
  • The social housing sector is a pillar of the energy efficiency improvement, because of its central position in the system of building and retrofitting process. However, it strongly depends of the coordination and cooperation of all the stakeholders (tenants, local authorities, energy providers, all the professionals of the building and retrofitting process and financial and institutional partners). There is still a lot to be done to reach this level of efficiency in the cooperation.

Partners and coordinator

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Développement, Etudes pour le Logement, la Promotion de l'Habitat, l'Innovation et le Social
Contact point: 
Francis Deplace
00 33 1 56 08 54 27


Key documents

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In brief

01/01/2007 to 31/12/2008
Contract number: 

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