The importance of this admission and new international membership of Gebalis - Lisbon Municipal Housing Rental Management Company, is measured by the relevance of Housing Europe - the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing - created in 1988, which covers more 26 million homes.
This institution, the biggest European reference in the public discussion on Housing, is organized in a network of 44 national and regional federations, bringing together about 43 thousand Providers of public, social and cooperative housing from 43 countries.
On September 4, 2020, Gebalis was officially admitted to Housing Europe. A moment of recognition for a public company with a municipal scope, which is governed by the most rigorous criteria for the management of cause and public affairs.
This is, therefore, a relevant step in the year in which it celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Why, then, this international recognition and validation of the effectiveness of Gebalis' action? For the brand of proximity management, capacity for integration and social well-being, effective and excellent responses. Also noteworthy is the capacity for innovation, whose maximum exponent is the LIFE Program - adaptation of housing for people with reduced mobility, ensuring an autonomous response to the recipients.
The challenge of managing public housing is intense and permanent. It would be said, in a tone between seriousness and humor, that no one has the greatest sympathy for his landlord and the same is valid for the management entities, and that is why this role, with a greater demand for public management, it is so difficult to fulfill. A response is required beyond the frontier of mere housing management, hence a greater capacity for interaction between the various axes of public action.
It is an increasingly complex local, national and global challenge, which will gain even more centrality in a pandemic situation.
In this context, the Municipality of Lisbon has not resigned itself, anticipating itself with concrete, visible and structured achievements. These include the construction and urban rehabilitation actions being carried out by Gebalis - with the integrated regeneration of the Municipal Districts, in an investment that exceeds 52,5 million euros, or in direct initiatives by the Lisbon City Council, such as the construction of a new building. housing in the Municipal Districts of Boavista, Padre Cruz and Cruz Vermelha, the conversion into housing of the buildings that housed Social Security services, the construction of new University Residences, the bet on Lease Subsidies and on innovative programs such as Affordable Income and Secure Income , ensuring differentiated responses to different audiences.
The strengthening of public housing policies came out of the relative slumber in which previous Governments and Parliament sentenced them. A State Secretariat for Housing was created. A National Housing Strategy was defined, objectives were established and important achievements were achieved.
Gebalis' integration and full membership in Housing Europe is an important tool. The specific weight of this municipal company dictates this, since it is directly responsible for the management of more than 23 thousand public housing units, located in 66 residential districts that are distributed by the parishes of the city of Lisbon, with an estimated population of more than 64 One thousand people.
This public housing stock constitutes 11,4% of households with habitual residence and occupies the third place at national level. The estimate of the Lisbon population residing in social housing assumes a weight of 10,7%, which also corresponds to a third place at national level.
A stronger voice, a more operational tool, this is what this partnership allows us both at EU and national level. This integration gives us access to evidence to support the development of intervention at local and national level, to the sharing of work methodologies already tested in the field, with proven positive results, to integration in European projects and, also, to participation in international events. sector, where Gebalis becomes an active voice.
In short and conclusion: this integration in Housing Europe gives us pride in Gebalis' increased centrality, giving us greater responsibility.