Yes, We Rent! sought to reactivate private vacant flats for the rental housing market and make them available at a below-market price to households in need of affordable housing. It would do so by offering a guaranteed rent and financial and organisational support to renovate properties. It also trained teenagers at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) with a view to their employment in the housing renovation sector.
The project’s main activity has been to test an organisational model for a multi-stakeholder housing cooperative, which, although publicly funded and controlled, draws on the empowerment and self-management potential of cooperatives. The cooperative includes both owners and tenants, who will in the long run fund its running costs and renovation work. It also matches the flats in its portfolio with a tenant from the housing cooperative.
The project supports owners with financial and organisational support to renovate and energy retrofit their dwellings with a subsidy up to €20 000 per flat. It is also able to guarantee owner revenue in the event of rent arrears. Once signed up to the project owners receive an architect’s proposal from the municipality for the renovation works and may choose to carry out the renovation themselves or delegate the work to the municipality.