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Financial support to social housing projects in Europe

A Housing Europe Briefing

Brussels, 7 June 2016 | Published in Economy, Future of the EU & Housing

The role of the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

The financing needs of the social housing sector can be illustrated in different ways: the number of people on the waiting lists, the gap between demand and supply, the number of young people 18-34 still living at their parents’ home, the rising number of overcrowded dwellings. The “State of Housing in the EU 2015” Report of the Housing Europe Observatory provided evidence for all above phenomena. [...]

It is essential that financial support can be obtained under terms and conditions that allow affordability to be passed on to tenants while delivering quality affordable housing opportunities. Access to low-cost capital for renovation and new construction is vital. As we live at a time of low interest rates in many countries that however have not yet been channelled into projects at the required scale, - setting up intermediary bodies that could aggregate the needs and channel low-cost funding is crucial. [...]

Beyond the stable, although low, return on investment that social housing provides for investors like the EIB, a key positive element is the stable and regulated governance structures in the housing sector whether it is for renovation or new construction, the assurance of management as well as the ongoing maintenance of the properties along with the added value of community outreach. All these elements ensure that EIB funds will be channelled to high quality projects.

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