Providing housing and home care for the vulnerable in Central European Cities through HELPS

An urban development project is promoting good practices to improve the quality of life for the elderly and people with disabilities.

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Trieste (Italy). Montebello Public Housing Residential Complex. Trieste (Italy). Montebello Public Housing Residential Complex.

" HELPS is committed to helping older citizens transition from institutional care to family-based and community-based alternatives. The project looks closely at the kind of changes that urban spaces need to make for the future such as becoming more open, accessible, connected and inclusive. "

Matteo Apuzzo, HELPS Project Manager

Local Partnership Housing and Homecare for the elderly in Central European Cities (HELPS) is developing housing and care solutions, while encouraging innovation at policy, production and service levels.

The first phase of the project was dedicated to mapping and research activities in Italy, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Austria. Based on these findings, a transnational comparative analysis and an evaluation of best practices were also carried out.

The team then organised a series of pilot actions that addressed social inclusion from a different point of view. The so-called “Local Support Groups” comprising local public, private stakeholders, and beneficiaries managed each pilot action.  Examples of such pilots include a "web nurse" portal developed by the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service which provides online courses and information for caregivers. Another in Trieste, Italy focuses on the integrated management and financing of housing and homecare.

Local Action Plans

Local action plans are now in place and serve the purpose of encouraging action on the ground and engaging local communities in realising innovative housing and care solutions for the vulnerable.

Moreover, recommendations and a toolkit tailored for decision makers at European level aim at transferring the project's activities and results to a transnational level. The focus here is on key issues affecting the vulnerable including accessibility, independent living, education, community-based care and technology innovation.

By 2025 more than 20 % of Europeans will be 65 or over, with a rapid increase in the numbers of over-80s. Elderly and vulnerable persons are increasingly at risk of social exclusion in urban areas due to the impoverishment of family and social linkages and significant infrastructure constraints.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “HELPS: Local Partnership Housing and Homecare for the elderly in Central European Cities” is EUR 2 670 229, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 2 133 975 from the Operational Programme “Central Europe Programme” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date