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 of 2017 is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), also known as the Juncker Plan.
The agreement combines two of the EIB’s priorities: fostering social integration in the European Union and helping to reduce the effects of climate change. The project also represents a good example of the major implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe in Spain.
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.
This investment has a positive employment impact by helping to create over 700 jobs in the implementation phase, which runs until 2020. The financing provided by the EIB is 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.
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.
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.