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Resilience and Recovery in Austria and Belgium

Housing Europe analyses the investments planned at country level that could make a difference to the sector and citizens

Austria/Belgium, 25 February 2022 | Published in Economy

In November 2021, Housing Europe launched its exclusive report 'Impact of the Recovery Plans on the Social and Affordable Housing Sector' that dug deeper into the content of this instrument designed to boost the economy after the hit of the health pandemic. As a follow-up to our comparative analysis, our Policy Officer, Edit Lakatos has also looked at the level of importance individual Member States have given to resilient and affordable housing.

We are starting with 'A' for Austria.

  • Austria has received in total €3.5 billion in grants under the RRF.

Social housing is not prominently mentioned in Austria’s Plan, but there are some measures the building sector as a whole and also the social housing sector will benefit from.

A Renovation Wave (€ 209 million) is supporting the replacement of climate-damaging oil and gas heating systems with renewable technology, and complex thermal renovation of dwellings to reduce the energy costs of low-income households.

An exchange of oil and gas heating systems (€ 158.92 million): consists of a support scheme for private individuals (31 800 dwellings) to replace fossil fuel heating systems with biomass-based heaters, heat pumps, or connectors to district heating. Moreover, thermal renovation of buildings, renewable energy and energy-saving measures will be supported also by the general investment premium scheme for enterprises (2.D.3), providing a climate contribution of € 205.5 million.

Combating energy poverty (€ 50 million) will include thermal renovation of dwellings of low-income households prone to energy poverty (2 250 houses). An integrated support scheme is going to provide tailored support and funding for the renovation of family houses, comprising thermal insulation of walls and roof, replacement of windows and heaters as well as planning support.

Green Finance Agenda - a quite unique initiative from the Austrian Plan to establish a political and monitoring framework that mobilises private capital for the necessary investments to achieve the climate and energy targets of 2030.

Concerning all these energy efficiency efforts, Austria is not on track to meet its target, says the analysis of the European Commission, but further measures are planned, says the Austrian Government.

  • Belgium will receive the total amount of €5 924 952 328 from RRF.

Belgium provides more than €1 billion to renovate public and private buildings, including social housing, to improve their energy performance. It has been also proposed to provide around € 900 million to boost the digital, language, and technical skills of vulnerable groups, job seekers to improve social inclusion.

As for the renovation of social housing overall, Belgium will spend € 133.44 million (€ 98 million from RRF) that include:

  • €35 million for the renovation of social housing in Wallonia;
  • €35 million in Flanders;
  • €43.44 million in the Brussels region;
  • €20 million in the German region.

In terms of support for private buildings, €243 million of energy subsidies will be given in Flanders, €5 million in the German region, and €16 million in the Brussels region.

The proposed projects target residential, commercial and industrial buildings as well as private buildings which contribute to fulfilling a public service mission. Particular attention will be paid to social housing and to households facing high investment costs.

In addition, Flanders also plans to establish a Research Platform on the energy transition with €26,45 million and an energy island to be established on a national level with the help of €100 million. 

In terms of energy performance of public buildings, the authorities should lead by example: attention will be paid to the most profitable choice between a targeted energy renovation, a deep renovation or demolition and reconstruction of buildings, taking into account the objectives of the NECP

Find the detailed country analyses for Austria and Belgium in our download section.

Read the full report.

Contact Edit Lakatos if you would like to know more.