ROOF, 9 cities, 1 goal: ending homelessness
Ghent (BE), 13  May 2022

It takes a city, a country and Europe 

It takes a roof, a house, a home

It takes all of us 

Together we can end homelessness

We are

We are ROOF, an URBACT Action Planning Network on ending homelessness through housing solutions. We are a network of 9 European cities (Braga (PT), Ghent (BE – Lead Partner), Glasgow (UK), Liège (BE), Odense (DK), Poznan (PL), Thessaloniki (EL), Timișoara (RO), Toulouse Métropole (FR)). 

For 2 years we have been exchanging knowledge and good practices and organising trainings on what is Housing First, what is ETHOS Light, data collection, how do you make the shift…. We also have been drafting local action plans to end homelessness by making the shift from shelter to Housing First and via data collection. We believe that change is key, change the mindset and get all levels on the same page. Knowledge is important and effecting change is just as essential. Whether through engaging people or advocating to change policy. Advocacy and storytelling are key in that. We have been aiming to have changed more minds towards data collection and starting or upscaling Housing First/Led and made progress in the local, national and European homelessness and housing policies by the end of our project.

Now ROOF is drawing to its end.

Now ROOF is drawing to its end. With the great European momentum  of the new European Platform on ending homelessness, we take the opportunity to discuss with the policy and political levels how together we can help cities end homelessness through Housing First and Housing Led in the decade to come.

We are organising our final meeting in the city of our Lead Partner Ghent on 13 May 2022. Here’s what you can expect: 

•in the morning, we welcome you to the high level European political ROOFTOPEU2022 (at the Ghent football stadion, the Ghelamco Arena or online). You will get a chance to hear our experiences and needs through key messages. We then discuss them with European, national and local politicians, experts and the audience: what do policy levels need from each other and to what can the political levels commit to implement Housing First/Led in the cities. Last but not least if you are at the stadion you are invited to cheer on the Ghent (ex-) homeless football team the Gantoise Plantrekkers and the ROOF-team during a small ROOFTOPEU2022 match. 
•in the afternoon, we will take you on a ROOF walk in a Ghent neighbourhood (limited places). During the walk the 9 ROOF cities will share their main results from the project with you.
•in the evening, we have a final moment with network members.

Speakers #ROOFTOPEU 2022

Dialogue 1 | “It takes a roof, a house, a home: implementing Housing First/Led by all policy levels”

Nicolas Schmit 

European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights

Nicolas Schmit took up office as European Commissioner responsible for Jobs and Social Rights in December 2019. Prior to this, and following a long career of public service in his native Luxembourg, he took up duty as Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the EU in 1998 for a six-year term. In 2004, he was appointed Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration. From 2009 to 2018, he held the position of Minister for Labour and Employment in the Luxembourgish government. He served as a Member of the European Parliament for the social-democratic Lëtzebuerger Sozialistesch Aarbechterpartei following his election in May 2019. Nicolas Schmit holds a Doctorate in International Economic Relations and a Masters in French Literature from the University of Aix-Marseille.

Patrick Develtere

Member of the European Platform to Combat Homelessness

Patrick Develtere is professor of International Cooperation at KU Leuven. He specialises in European Social Policy and International Development Cooperation. He was Principal Advisor European Social Policy in the Think Tank of the European Commission until 2020. Before that he was General Chairman of ACW/ He is a member of the European Platform on Combating homelessness.

Tine Heyse 

Deputy Mayor of the Environment, Climate and Housing

Ms Tine Heyse is deputy mayor of the city of Ghent, since January 2013. She has been a city council member for the Green party since 2000. Currently she has an executive  portfolio combining housing, energy, climate, and environmental policies.

Mikko Aaltonen 

Member of the European Committee of the Regions or Councillor of Tampere City Council

Mikko Aaltonen is a Councillor at the City of Tampere, Finland, and represents his country at the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). He also represents the CoR in the Steering Board of the European Platform for Combatting Homelessness (EPOCH).


Dialogue 2 | “It takes a city, a country, and Europe: How to align to make best use of supporting tools”

Katarina Ivankovic-Knezevic 

Director Social Rights and Inclusion at DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion European Commission 

Since September 2018 Katarina Ivanković Knežević is a Director for Social Rights and Inclusion in the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. Her area of activity is modernisation of social protection systems and wider social policies fostering social and labour market inclusion, through the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and other relevant social policies of the European Union. Before the European Commission she was a State Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and the Pension System of the Republic of Croatia, in which she was responsible for the management and implementation of the European Social Fund and other EU instruments aiming at human resources development. For the last 20 years her professional interests are human rights and gender equality, social policy and employment with particular accent to the labour market policies.

Astrid Van Kleef, representing Minister Karine Lalieux 

Advisor Social Integration to Federal Minister Karine Lalieux (Belgium), responsible for Pensions and Social Integration, in charge of Persons with disabilities, Poverty reduction and Beliris

Ms Van Kleef studied Law at the Catholic University Leuven (BE) and started her career as a lawyer in the Social Services of Ixelles and Brussels. Between 2003 and 2014, she worked as an advisor to the Minister of Social Integration, the Minister-President of the Brussels Capital Region and the Minister of Development Cooperation. Thereafter she worked as a lawyer at Heemstra & Roest notariaat and Die Keure. In November 2020, Ms Van Kleef returned to the federal government level as Advisor Social Integration to Federal Minister Karine Lalieux (Belgium), responsible for Pensions and Social Integration, in charge of Persons with disabilities, Poverty reduction and Beliris.

Laure Billoret

Project Manager at the French Interministerial Delegation for Access to Housing (DIHAL)

Laure BILLORET is project manager working at the French Interministerial Delegation for Access to Housing (DIHAL). Established in 2010, the DIHAL is responsible for implementing the French public policy on accommodation, access to housing and the maintenance of housing for homeless and poorly housed people.

Dra. Carla Sepúlveda 

Deputy Mayor of Education, Innovation and Social Cohesion of Braga

Carla Sepúlveda was born in Braga, Portugal, on March 16, 1971. Since September 2021 she´s Deputy Mayor of Education, Innovation and Social Cohesion in Braga´s Municipality. As an Entrepreneur, and International Business consultant, she also has been a developing Mentoring programmess at Universidade do Minho - Braga, Universidade de Economia – Porto and Universidade de Economia - Coimbra. The passion for Africa led her to the development of social projects in this Continent, especially with Guinea Bissau