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Some thoughts from the local organisers of EASPD's annual conference "A Home For All"

EASPD is organising an Annual Conference in Oslo with the cooperation of local associations working in the disability and housing sector from Norway. Here you can read some of their thoughts on the importance of holding such a conference and the state of play of the sector in their country.  
 

Nordic Centre for Social and Welfare Issues (NVC)
 
Maarit Aalto, Project Manager

Why is it important to hold a conference on housing & support services in Norway in current times? How is that sector in Norway?

“Being one of the first Nordic countries to develop inclusive housing for persons with intellectual disabilities and support services, Norway offers a good example of how this could be possible. This happened in 1991, through the HVPU reform, which was based on three goals: closing down institutions in a period of five years, increasing the quality of housing conditions and creating the necessary means for independent living. We believe that, through its welfare system, Norway offers a positive example in regard to social housing, thus making the conference a great opportunity of sharing models of good practice.”

What expectations do you have from the conference?
“We expect the conference to provide us with fresh ideas and best practices from other countries and hopefully, create new contacts and good cooperation. We also hope that the Scandinavian countries will inspire the rest of Europe to proceed on the road of deinstitutionalization by developing housing possibilities for people with support needs in inclusive communities.”

 


Helse Bergen
 
Tor Visnes, Project Manager

Why is it important to hold a conference on housing & support services in Norway in current times? How is that sector in Norway?
“It is a societal goal for everyone to live in an individually chosen place that offers optimal opportunities for personal needs, social participation and the use of adapted services. Nevertheless, this goal has not been equally prioritized throughout Europe. Even though Norway is one of the countries which has done great efforts since the post-war period to better this sector, we still have a lot to learn. Even so – based on the Norwegian experiences – we think we’re able to contribute to the common European knowledge base and to the shaping of policies in this sector.”

What expectations do you have from the conference?
I expect all different professionals, politicians and opinion builders in the NGO sector to merge their expertise and motivate all European countries to intensify their efforts in order to implement the goal of “A Home for All” – not only as a slogan, but also “on the ground”.
 


Registration and practical information on the annual conference "A Home For All"