€1 billion for thermal renovation of social housing from EIB

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is putting in place a new €1 billion credit line with Caisse des Dépôts to accelerate the implementation of social housing associations’ thermal renovation projects.

This financing will enable Banque des Territoires (Caisse des Dépôts) to continue to grant fixed-rate loans to all entities in addition to its Eco loan product. This operation confirms the strength of the European Alliance for Social Housing partnership created in September 2020 to help all social housing associations to access EU funding.

Building renovation is a key tool for meeting the goal of a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions EU-wide by 2030. The European Commission’s renovation wave for Europe strategy presented in October 2020 aims to double the annual energy renovation rate for residential and non-residential buildings by 2030.

To help make the European Union the world's first net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy by 2050, we must invest in making homes more energy-efficient and particularly in eliminating thermal sieves,” said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. “As the EU climate bank, the EIB has mobilised together with its partners the Alliance for Social Housing and Banque des Territoires to support affordable and sustainable housing.

In the building sector, the French National Energy and Climate Plan (Plan National Énergie-Climat) has the goal of renovating 500 000 homes a year, including 100 000 social homes and the renovation of all homes identified as thermal sieves.

Against this backdrop, and in view of the structural investment gap for achieving these objectives, the EIB decided to provide Banque des Territoires with a new, €1 billion financing envelope. This envelope will extend financing in addition to the Eco loan, with fixed-rate loans featuring maturities of between 15 and 30 years. It will speed up and industrialise the thermal renovation of social housing by giving absolutely all associations access to these loans.

This new scheme is expected to help finance the renovation of around 70 000 social housing units across France, reducing buildings’ primary energy use by at least 40%. It is being implemented as the continuation of three previous envelopes signed between 2015 and 2020 totalling €2 billion for the thermal renovation and construction of social housing.

“Social housing associations are making major innovations to renovate their portfolios. As a major financer of the sector, Banque des Territoires uses its loans to help carry out social and environmental projects. Our partnership with the EIB will now enable us to act as an intermediary for accessing EU funds, thereby offering financing that is ever-more tailored to borrower needs and the climate,” added Caisse des Dépôts CEO Eric Lombard.

This partnership illustrates how Banque des Territoires and the EIB complement each other as long-term financers of social housing associations. It was signed under the European Alliance for Social Housing partnership umbrella. This cooperation agreement signed on 15 September 2020 by Banque des Territoires, Union Sociale pour l’Habitat, the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and the EIB aims to facilitate social housing associations’ access to European funding for long-term investments in public social infrastructure.