It is confirmed, on the morning of March 24th, HOusing Europe will host Werner Schmidt, the coordinator of the Taskforce for the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and head of the ‘Environmental and Regional Development Department’ within the European Investment Bank with direct responsibility for the urban and housing sector to participate in a workshop for Housing Europe Members in Brussels.

This will be an opportunity to discuss the possibilities offered by this new fund in our sector for energy retrofit and new construction. For those interested in bi-lateral meetings after the workshop, this could be proposed.

The steps so far:

  • Nov 2014: Announcement of a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) expected to make up to €300 bn Euros by attracting private investment with a public guarantee to boost ‘jobs and growth’.
  • Nov 2014: Housing Europe Action: Letter to taskforce established to shape the Fund, Press Release, Meetings, Briefing for key MEPs at European Parliament
  • Nov 2014:Housing Europe Meets Cabinet of Commissioners Katainen (Growth and jobs)  & Sefcovic (Energy Union)
  • December 2014: Taskforce Report states: “… shrinking regional and municipal budgets are having a negative impact on urban social services, including the provision of social housing in several Member States…”.
  • Social housing energy retrofit is included under the heading energy efficiency/Energy Union p.46 under illustrative projects ‘Investments supporting retrofitting of social housing to create energy -efficient  housing’.
  • January 2015: Housing Europe received response from the EIB “ The EIB is confident that the Juncker Plan will be a catalyst for the financing of social housing and associated investment in Community development as a priority investment target provided the relevant eligibility criteria are met.”

Work Ongoing: While signals are postive, the current regulation draft being debated in the European Parliament avoids mentioning housing or housing retrofit as a priority for the fund, leaving excessive flexibility as to what the fund can actually support with the risk that large scale infrastructural projects will be the primary target.

Please inform if it is possible for your organisation to attend the workshop which will take place from 08:30 until 11:30 on March 24th followed by possible bi-lateral discussions if required.