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Housing Finance

Key terms, figures and ways forward

Brussels, 27 October 2014 | Published in Economy

The financial crisis is not just about figures, it also comes along with a whole bunch of terminology that make public debate around the topics rather exclusive. This is why before any discussion around the financial aspect of housing can be initiated, these terms need to be clarified. Alongside with Finance Watch we have gathered 16 essential terms around housing finance...

Long-term investment in affordable housing, by the multiple benefits it can bring about, should be one key area of consideration for the European Union. In doing this, the specific elements of social, cooperative and public housing must be taken into consideration and protected accordingly. This is why the issue of housing finance is increasingly central to Housing Europe activities, including the launch this year of a dedicated working committee.

The models for financing our members’ activities vary across country, but they have in common an increasing diversification in terms both of direct and indirect public finance, as well as ways of raising private capital. The result of a recent survey on financing of public, cooperative and social housing show that the top concern is to ensure access to loans by public banks, to public subsidies, and to credit from banks –with public guarantees.

The survey also identifies the top 4 European initiatives which could facilitate financing for the sector: financial tools supporting refurbishment (combining structural funds and EIB loans); measures aimed at fostering traditional banking activities and lending to the real economy; measures encouraging ethical/social investment; and support for construction and renovation from the EIB and Council of Europe Bank. But these are only some pieces of the puzzle. Overall how can the EU help moving towards a model of housing provision that supports social and ecological resilience?

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