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Accelerating energy efficient renovation of social housing in Belgium

And finding the right financing models

Brussels, 22 May 2024 | Published in Future of the EU & Housing

On May 22nd Housing Europe organised two roundtables around the topic of financing energy efficient renovation of social housing in Belgium, in the framework of the EU-funded project Super-i. With roughly 60 participants altogether, the two roundtables were an excellent learning opportunity and an occasion for Housing Europe members to share their views across regions.

The first event targeted the Brussels and Walloon region and focused on How to reach ambitious regional climate objectives. It presented obstacles and opportunities to meeting regional goals in terms of social housing renovation, including a reflection on whether and how PPPs solutions such as those analysed by Super-i as well as EU funding and EIB finance could potentially complement the existing funding model. The Belgian regions have set ambitious regional plans for increasing the energy efficiency of the housing stock and most important its quality and comfort for residents – as we heard from SLRB and SWL. However given the rapid increase in construction costs in recent years some of the targets had to be lowered. As of today the commitment from the sector is clear, but it requires stretching the finance and capacity of housing providers to an unprecedented level, keeping in mind the sector is also under pressure to produce more homes to answer increasing needs and it works with significantly low rents calibrated on the income of residents, with no way for housing companies to recover the cost of investment in renovation (split incentives).

The second roundtable, dedicated to Learning from experiences on the ground, was an exchange of ideas and experiences among social housing providers, funding agencies and companies involved in renovation, and an opportunity to understand better current innovations also in the Flemish region including an overview from the public agency Wonen in Vlaanderen. Among the many issues the event touched upon, involvement of residents throughout the renovation process, the importance of data to evaluate and monitor real consumption, use of industrialized renovation techniques, the potential of ESCO model for renewables and technology innovation, district approach to renovation.

See the full programme.

Learn more about the Super-i project.