Irish Minister visits EIB to discuss European social housing financing
22 February 2018
Eoghan Murphy TD, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government and senior government officials today visited the headquarters of the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg to discuss future social and affordable housing investment in Ireland. They discussed a potential pilot project and examined funding models from across Europe and ways to broaden EIB support for new social housing investment in Ireland.
“Examining experience of successful models for financing social housing from across Europe is key to addressing Ireland’s housing shortage. Discussions with EIB housing experts in Luxembourg this week will contribute to ongoing initiatives to stimulate new investment in the sector. I welcome the EIB’s engagement to assess a scheme involving social, affordable and private housing that has the potential to strengthen future housing schemes across the country. This builds on the EIB’s long-standing support for investment in Irish social housing.” said Eoghan Murphy TD, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government.
“The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting new investment in social and affordable housing across Europe. Investment in the sector is crucial to increase the number of affordable homes, cut energy use and create skilled construction jobs. I am pleased to welcome Minister Murphy and his colleagues to Luxembourg to see how the EIB’s unique technical and financial experience can strengthen future housing investment in Ireland. Today’s meetings build on our close cooperation with the Housing Finance Agency, Approved Housing Bodies, local authorities and the Irish construction sector in these times of almost unprecedented demand for housing. ” said Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President.
During the visit EIB technical and financial experts outlined funding models that have successfully supported new social and affordable housing investment across Europe and could be adapted to unlock new housing investment in Ireland. Over the last decade the European Investment Bank has provided EUR 11.2 billion for social housing investment across Europe and elsewhere around the world.
In the last five years the EIB has provided EUR 350 million for investment by Approved Housing Bodies across Ireland in cooperation with the Housing Finance Agency. This has supported construction of thousands of new homes and improvements to energy efficiency that will significantly reduce household heating bills. In recent months has agreed the first financing for urban investment by Irish local authorities.
Last year the European Investment Bank hosted a workshop with housing finance experts from across the country to exchange ideas on future financing for social and affordable housing.
The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and last year the European Investment Bank Group provided a record EUR 1 billion for public and private sector investment across Ireland. This represents the largest ever engagement in the country by Europe’s long-term lending institution since the start of Irish operations in 1973.
The EIB today confirmed support for record new investment in social housing totalling EUR 405 million that will construct and improve thousands of properties across Ireland. It is expected that 1,400 new homes will be built and more than 700 properties upgraded in Dublin and across the country under the new initiative jointly financed with the Housing Finance Agency.
A new initiative jointly backed by the Housing Finance Agency and the European Investment Bank is expected to support investment in 2,000 social housing units to be developed across Ireland over the next three years.
The EIB has agreed to provide GBP 1 billion for new social housing investment across the UK in partnership with the Housing Finance Corporation (THFC). The expanded Affordable Housing Finance programme will help to alleviate shortages in affordable housing and accelerate construction of new build social housing.