09/15/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/15/2020 04:00
Szczecin has become the second Polish town to receive a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance a municipal development plan for social and affordable housing. The EIB has agreed to lend up to PLN 85 million (approx. €20 million) to two housing companies owned by the City of Szczecin for the construction and renovation of 250 social and affordable housing units (169 new and 81 renovated) and associated underground parking facilities.
Thanks to the development of more energy-efficient dwellings, the project will generate savings of over 3 200 GJ per year, which will lead to a substantial reduction in Szczecin's energy consumption and to lower emissions and energy bills. It will also enable the removal of on-street parking in the city centre and forms part of the larger urban regeneration programme of the historic part of the city.
Before Szczecin, the EIB had signed two loans in this sector with two municipal companies in Poznań. Such loans financed the construction and renovation of over 2 300 social and affordable housing units in the capital of the Wielkopolska Region.
More specifically, the Szczecin loan includes two financing parts. Up to PLN 58.25 million (approx. €13.7 million) was signed with Szczecińskie Towarzystwo Budownictwa Społecznego (STBS) and up to PLN 26.25 million (approx. €6.1 million) was signed with Towarzystwo Budownictwa Społecznego Prawobrzeże (TBSP).
The operation benefits from the guarantee of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. The European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH), the advisory pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, provided technical assistance to the beneficiaries.
For the first time in social and affordable housing projects financed by the EIB, a specific focus on green infrastructure has been included in the operation. Thus, a separate PLN 3.4 million loan (approx. €0.8 million) was signed with Szczecińskie Towarzystwo Budownictwa Społecznego (STBS) to finance the integration of green roofs, urban farming plots, rainwater collection systems and other green elements. This loan thus falls under theNatural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF), an instrument managed by the EIB, supported by a guarantee under the LIFE Programme, for ecosystem -based investments for biodiversity and climate adaptation. This is the first NCFF project signed by the EU bank in Poland and it is the first time that the NCFF complements a social and affordable housing project in Europe. The EIB and the Stettin municipality stress the importance of the green elements in this operation in view of the recovery from the COVID pandemic.
EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska,said:
'This is the first EIB loan to the housing companies of the City of Szczecin and I am pleased that it will help to tackle two problems faced by the affordable and social housing sector: a decreasing housing stock and deteriorating quality due to ageing. The affordability and social fabric of our cities is at the core of the EU bank's urban agenda. Szczecin is the second city in Poland to receive our support in this sector and will not be the last. I am also delighted that a small yet important part of the overall EIB financing is for the first time taking advantage of the NCFF, a joint instrument of the EIB and the European Commission that specifically targets green, innovative urban solutions.'
Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the Economy, said: 'This project is close to my heart because it fills vital needs with one deed. Allowing the most vulnerable inhabitants of Szczecin to benefit from affordable housing while lowering their energy expenditure is not only a social measure but also a boost for the climate. It also enables Polish citizens to become actors of the energy transition that will help us overcome the crisis.'
About the Investment Plan for Europe
The Investment Plan for Europe - the Juncker Plan - was launched in November 2014 to reverse the downward trend in investment levels and put Europe on the path to economic recovery. Its innovative approach based on the use of an EU budget guarantee provided to the EIB Group has enabled and continues to enable substantial public and private sector funds to be mobilised for investment in strategic sectors of the European economy. The Juncker Plan has already generated nearly €514 billion of investment, including €22.3 billion in Poland, and supported 1.2 million start-ups and SMEs across Europe. Find the latest EFSI figures by sector and by country here, or see the FAQs.
About STBS and TBSP
Both companies are owned by the City of Szczecin and their main mission is to deliver affordable housing in Szczecin either by building new apartments or by renovating existing onesLearn more here: www.stbs.pl, www.tbs.szczecin.pl
Under the Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF), the European Investment Bank provides loans and investments in funds to support projects that promote the preservation of natural capital, including adaptation to climate change, in the Member States. The total budget for the Investment Facility amounts to € 100 - 125 million for 2014-2021. Under the LIFE Programme, the European Commission contributes €50 million as a guarantee for the investments and finances a €10 million support facility.