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European Commission
€40 million to finance construct 524 energy efficient rented social housing units in Navarra, Spain



September 18, 2017

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is helping to facilitate access to affordable social housing in metropolitan areas of Navarre by providing EUR 40 million to finance the construction of 524 units. These will be Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB), i.e. buildings with very low energy consumption owing to their design and the materials used in their construction. The agreement is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main plank of the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe, also known as the Juncker Plan.

This investment will have a positive employment impact by helping to create over 700 jobs in the implementation phase, which will run until 2020. The financing provided by the EIB will be managed by NASUVINSA, the public agency responsible for urban development and social housing projects in Navarre. The 524 new units will be built in the next three years, up to 2020, in metropolitan areas of Navarre. A total of 78 000 square metres of housing will be constructed under the project.

Miguel Arias Cañete, the Commissioner responsible for Climate Action and Energy, affirmed that "this project is a clear example of smart investment: people's quality of life will be improved, energy consumption will be reduced and jobs will be created. These are the goals of the EU's energy efficiency policies, and I therefore welcome this agreement and sincerely hope that investment of this type will continue to be requested and supported. "

At the signing ceremony, EIB Vice-President Román Escolano said: "The agreement that we are signing today combines two of the EIB's priorities: fostering social integration in the European Union and helping to reduce the effects of climate change.  As the EU bank, the EIB works to improve the life of Europe's citizens. We are therefore delighted to support this project, which also represents a good example of the major implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe in Spain."

The President of Navarre, Uxue Barkos, stressed that the EIB's backing would enable Navarre "to continue pioneering progressive rental and energy efficiency policies and spearheading social innovation in the housing sector". She went on to welcome "the agreement's recognition and support for bold housing policies which are helping to transform a reality that unfortunately has been too determined by the bricks and mortar development culture in recent years, and helping to ensure that the public authorities turn their attention to people's real needs and to the whole of society's right to quality housing, whatever their origin, level of rent or family situation".

ICO's CEO, Pablo Zalba, stressed that "the social function of the Investment Plan for Europe is made manifest in agreements like today's. For ICO, it is a matter of priority to continue working to promote the implementation of this EU initiative in Spain".

All units will meet high energy efficiency standards in line with the EU energy performance directive that will come into force in 2020, which will require all new buildings to be nearly zero-energy. Thanks to the type of construction and the use of renewable energies, the units built under the project will consume up to 75% less energy than conventional housing. And tenants will pay less to stay warm in winter: heating costs will be 90% less than for buildings that are 30 years old or more. Average costs for the efficient new units will be EUR 75 a year compared to EUR 785 a year for an old building.

The new buildings will be used for affordable rented housing, so contributing to social integration and urban regeneration. A particular aim of the project is to provide access to housing for young people and people on low incomes, in line with current social housing legislation in Navarre.

Promoting social housing is one of the goals of the EU bank, which in Spain has already provided financing for similar social housing programmes in urban centres in Andalusia and more recently in Barcelona. The EIB has also supported projects aimed at increasing or improving the rented social housing stock in other European cities such as Amsterdam, Dublin and Lisbon.

The Juncker Plan in Spain and cooperation with ICO

The backing of this agreement by the Investment Plan for Europe will enable the EIB to provide favourable financing terms regarding both interest rates and maturity to ensure the implementation of the project. 

Since the Investment Plan for Europe was launched, 53 projects involving total financing of over EUR 4.7 billion have been approved in this framework in Spain, leveraging more than EUR 28.5 billion worth of investment in the Spanish economy.

As the national promotional bank, the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) works together with the EIB to implement the Juncker Plan in Spain. In this context, the two institutions have carried out two risk-sharing operations involving the venture capital and infrastructure funds Fond-ICO Global and Fond-ICO Infraestructuras, worth EUR 250 and 50 million respectively. Both operations are supported by the Investment Plan for Europe and were the first of this type signed by the EIB with a national development bank in Europe.

As well as working together to implement the Juncker Plan, the EIB and ICO are cooperating closely on other projects with the joint aim of providing liquidity to Spanish SMEs. In 2016, the EU bank granted ICO EUR 1.8 billion worth of financing via six loan agreements designed to fund over 30 000 small and medium-sized enterprises, giving them access to the credit necessary to carry out their projects.

Background

About the EIB and the Investment Plan for Europe

The European Investment Bank (ElB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

The Investment Plan for Europe, known as the "Juncker Plan", is one of the European Commission's top priorities. It focuses on boosting investment to generate jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the "Juncker Plan" and provides first loss guarantees, enabling the EIB to invest in more projects that often come with greater risks. EFSI has already yielded tangible results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI are expected to mobilise more than EUR 225 billion in investment and support some 445 000  SMEs in the 28 Member States.

More information on the results of the Investment Plan for Europe is available here.

For more information:

Organization:
European Commission
http://ec.europa.eu/


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