Housing Europe was invited to share views by the EASPD at their seminar organised in the European Parliament on the "Implementation of the European Fund for Strategic Investment: unlocking investment for social services"
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) aims to mobilise over EUR 300 billion of private investment in the real economy in the next few years. After one year of implementation, the European Investment Bank (EIB) claims that social infrastructure accounts for 4% of EFSI expenditure. According to research made by EASPD, there is little evidence of sufficient investment into social services.
The event was used to launch the EASPD study “Unlocking the EFSI for social services” to help unlock EFSI investment into social services.
Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards reported that the assurance of national financial guarantee has worked well to ensure the delivery of social housing in many Member States. The EFSI which also works on this principal of guaranteeing loans viewed as risky, is therefore promising and can potentially meet a need on the ground in the social sector, although as EASPD has shown this is limited to date.
Another key element of successful access to finance has been the capacity of the housing sector to mutualise risk and aggregate loans, a lesson which can potentially be replicated in other social services. She also stressed that housing as a platform for delivery of care services is an area requiring huge investment in Europe and one which offers huge potential for increased social cohesion. There is a need to increase collaboration between housing and care providers at local and national level to increase investment in the sector.