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"Your home, our commitment"

  • Spain
  • Basque Country Government - Basque Housing Observatory
  • This experience was presented at the 10th IOPD Award
This experience was recognized with a special mention in the 10th IOPD Award  "Best Practice in Citizen Participation" (2016)


Not too long ago, public administration makes her the maximum of the enlightened despotism “Governing for the people but without the people”. Fortunately we have experienced historic progress and now we are able to encourage an open and transparent government, where new technologies of the communication allow us to move much more efficiently and sustainably.

In the case of the Deputy Ministry of Housing of the current Department of Employment and Social Policy of the Basque Government, these axioms of open government have been internalized many years ago. The search for new ways to generate knowledge networks, creating stable relationships where conversation and manage conflicts and to collaborate, cooperate and share responsibility in the definition and evaluation of public housing strategies has led us down a road that while for many years he has been in solitary, it has always reported improved participatory public policies.

In this regard, we have been pioneers in achieving ISO 9001: 2008 in 2005, and since then have a place in the Planning and Housing Operational Procedures (SEPYP), responsible for quality and continuous improvement. As well as being the only ones to carry out a continuous assessment of our public policies.

We have been walking slowly in getting an advanced organization where the legal obligations now in the regulations, they are not a novelty in the way we work.

Therefore, citizen participation in housing is a way of governing and not a tool for this purpose. Integration into the political life of democratic decisions of stakeholders and the public in general is a healthy exercise that we practice legislatures behind. Proof of this is the United Nations Award for Public Service in 2012 (UNPSA) for our project "In housing, all opinions count."

We do not know another way of working that conversation, dialogue and the effort to understand positions (unrelated) with the aim of the common good, more necessary now than ever because the economic crisis has created new opportunities and demands for greater efficiency, efficiency and equity in public housing policies.

The project "Your home, our commitment" born of the conviction that a 4-year strategic plan in housing, it shall collect polyhedral visions expressing society. Therefore, from the SEPYP it was decided to launch an ambitious social partnership in the realization of the new Director of Housing 2013-2016 (PDV) Plan.

A project that contains a wide range of actions, but derived from a single objective: encouraging debate and collection of all possible inputs on the main lines of the Basque housing policy.

To this end, it seeks maximum transparency, both regarding the information provided during the entry process, and the evaluation and reflection of the contributions received.

The recipients of the participation process were citizens (mainly public housing applicants) and expert agents (City Councils, Provincial Councils, social groups, lawyers, economists, architects, builders and developers, financial institutions, universities, etc.)

The PDV participation process lasted four weeks, during which through a huge concentration of effort, citizenship and experts told agents with different channels enabled to allow participation, consisting mainly of web media commonly used for the Department of Employment and Social Policies: Blog share created for this purpose, space for debate enabled the Basque Government Irekia platform, Facebook and links from the website of the Basque Housing Service Etxebide, the website of the Department of Government Intranet , site of the Basque Observatory of Housing and coordination with other actors were advertised to us as the accesses professional associations of the sector.

Communication with citizens is established by sending emails to persons seeking public housing registered in the register of agents and experts Etxebide. Thus they were invited to participate in the process and were provided with links to platforms and surveys through which they could express their views and make their contributions. Communication has been a great challenge that we solved with press releases, mail communications, letters and publications on websites and online platforms. The return to society of their effort has been thorough and scrupulous. And we have explained publicly why it has built and why not on the housing strategy and most importantly, why. They have sent emails, thank you letters, published results during and at the end of the process, and have been massively used the websites that we had at our disposal for managing the entire content as opposed we collected. The new PDV 2013-2016 is a melting pot of all of us sees ourselves where and where it has tried to solve the access to decent housing for people.


However, this project does not end with its wording. Derived from the actions that it undertakes, the Deputy Ministry of Housing must implement new regulations result of the changing reality. Therefore, each of these leads must contain in its design, collaboration and citizen participation. Therefore, currently, we are in a thread engagement with aid for the rehabilitation of housing. This thread is allowed us to explore new methods of approach because our target audience is also much more concrete. In order to make a joint reflection regarding the approach to amend the regulations governing the management of the areas of integrated and degraded areas rehabilitation, we have developed two workshops Rehabilitation experts in the field, we have set up five tents in the municipalities more need to undertake rehabilitation work, we have integrated in our reflection to Property Administrators of Euskadi as timing belts and information management, and have made parallel a statistical survey of the beneficiaries of such aid in the past .


Now we are in the phase of integration of contributions in the new regulations that will be developed in 2016 and to design a communication plan to be as scrupulous as the PDV.

Our journey will follow the same path in the following threads that have to be addressed, because we no longer know how to work any other way, nor will the public sector will not understand. In 2017 we will have to address a new Director Plan of Housing, which will go the way of citizen participation and transparency followed by all of the above. The systematic evaluation of housing policy with accountability to society through the Basque Housing Observatory and the Basque Parliament for political control continues today and will continue in the future.