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Meet the young people heading to the Europe Housing Forum this month as part of the 'Youth for Housing' delegate programme.

The Europe Housing Forum is taking place next week in Warsaw, Poland. The forum aims to bring together, virtually and in-person, housing sector players to learn, collaborate and position housing as a key driver of sustainable cities and economic growth. The event seeks to surface new thinking and innovative solutions to complex housing challenges.

As part of our wider youth engagement strategy, Habitat have offered young people across Europe the opportunity to join the Europe Housing Forum, as part of the 'Youth for Housing' Delegate programme.

The aims of the new programme are:

• To provide a platform for young people across Europe to be represented at the EHF.

• To directly involve young people living in Europe in housing policy, innovation and decision-making.

• To hear and include the voices of young people on housing issues at local, national, and international levels.

• To familiarise young people in Europe with global development issues, housing, the Sustainable Development Goals and opportunities for action.

• To support global citizenship activities and development initiatives in Europe.

 Left - right: Youth delegates Ross, Ella, Anca and Alexandru

Meet the delegates

Ross Blackbourne, Ireland

Ross is studying for an MSc in City Design and Planning at Queen’s University Belfast, with his research work focusing on medium-density, affordable, and social housing projects on brownfield, urban centres across Ireland. He was recognised as one of the 30 under 30 Climate Change Makers in Northern Ireland for his work promoting youth engagement in climate change advocacy, managing ecologically significant sites, and encouraging the use of re-use architecture in Belfast. Alongside his studies, Ross works as a freelance urban planner and architectural assistant, recently as an associate with McGarry Consulting, providing planning consultancy for non-profits and public bodies.

Ella Burns, Ireland

Ella is in the first year of her master's degree in European Planning at Queen’s University Belfast where she is the course representative for her year. Experience working with Ukrainian refugees at her local foodbank has fuelled her interest in issues surrounding refugees fleeing conflict. Ella welcomes the opportunity the Europe Housing Forum brings to share innovative solutions to modern housing problems across the continent.

Anca Dragomir, Romania

Anca is currently in her second year of college studying International Relations and European Studies. She was a key member of the organizing team for the Community of European Leaders, where she planned workshops, discussions with decision-makers (generally European parliamentarians) with the aim of bringing the European Union closer to young people. So far the initiative has reached 3 cities and more than 1000+ young people. Anca has also worked at Social Innovations Solutions where she organized 8 working groups at the Victoria Palace, in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Department. She has experience as a Youth Delegate at the Congress of Young Europeans 2023 (Thessaloniki, Greece), where one of the main themes was the housing crisis. She was the youngest female semi-finalist in the selection process of Romania's youth delegates to the UN, 2023 edition, which gave her a broad perspective on good practices in diplomatic contexts.

Alexandru Jula, Romania

Alexandru is a 22 year old student from Romania, currently in his second year of College studying International Relations and European Studies. He was a member of the Model European Union (2023), taking part in debates where participants can play the role of MEP or minister in the EU Council. He has also had the opportunity to participate in multiple European conferences (Conference on the Future of Europe 2022, UniPe - European Parliament in Dialogue with Students, Conference of Young European Leaders), engaging in conversations and hearing from speakers in the sector, including MEPs, members of think tanks and civil society. He has participated in workshops, debates and presentation sessions about Ukraine (October 2023): political and social life within an Erasmus program, held within the University of Beira Interior in Portugal (University partner with UVT, through the Unita program), the name of the program being: Blended Intensive Program: "Ukraine - political, cultural and social approaches". Alexandru was also a debater and referee within ARDOR (Romanian Association of Debates, Oratory and Rhetoric), where he participated in over 30 international, national and regional competitions.


Join us virtually at the Europe Housing Forum! Register here.

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