Housing Europe participated in the EFSI stakeholder consultation meeting which took place on 8 December in the European Investment Banks’ headquarters. Participants included the EFSI Board, National Development banks, European Long-Term Investors’ Association (ELTIA), the European Commission, the European Parliament and also the private sector. Housing Europe was represented by Sorcha Edwards, Secretary General, and Edit Lakatos, Policy officer. Carine Puyol, EU Affairs Advisor from our French Member, USH was also invited.
The aim of the consultation was to get feedback on the overall performance of the EFSI and Housing Europe was glad to provide feedback on what is working and how we could improve to mobilize more investment for affordable housing providers.
Concerning the EFSI performance until now, the EIB presented that the EFSI Board approved more than 330 operations in 27 member states (20 operations combine the support with Structural Funds). The top beneficiaries are Finland, Spain, Greece, Poland, Portugal and Lithuania. The biggest part of the investment, 32% supports energy and the average operation size of projects funded under EFSI is well below the EIB non EFSI operations average. Social infrastructure represents 4% of the total investment of EFSI of which the biggest part went to affordable housing projects. The EFSI secretariat recently set up a mapping tool to show all the supported projects on the ground.
The EFSI 2.0 was also recently adopted which will start operating from January 2019. Additional objectives will include fishery &agriculture; cohesion policy and cross-border; 40 % for COP21 commitments. Finally, a reporting obligation on the additionality of EFSI interventions is also part of the rules.
We took the opportunity to talk about the success stories in our sector such as the projects in Lisbon, Poland or in Barcelona and we also raised awareness of the investment gap in the sector. The EFSI Board highlighted that the EFSI is very much a market-driven tool. However, they confirmed that they are well aware of the structural gaps and the lack of appropriate legislation allowing intermediaries to operate in some Member States. As the EIB needs specialized actors on national/regional level, it is aiming to increase and improve the partnerships with the banking sector to scale up investments.
One of the results of the EIB’s efforts is the 35 Investment Platforms which have already been set up. Two of them are related to affordable housing:
- Social housing investment platform in Poland
- French overseas territories- a multi-sectoral platform that also includes social housing
The EIB emphasized that the Investment Platform is a flexible tool however before setting it up we need a good market analysis, careful structuring which allows bankable projects.
The other result of the EIB’s effort is the enhanced cooperation with National Promotional Banks as well as the broader scale of technical assistance of the Advisory Hub (firstname.lastname@example.org). Until now 111 operations went through the national promotional banks, representing €54 billion.