France: EIB helps Livie accelerate affordable housing construction
11 January 2021
€125 million loan granted to BATIGERE Network subsidiary dedicated to building affordable housing in France
1 500 home builds planned over five years for 3 500 residents
Operation guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)
BATIGERE Network subsidiary Livie and the European Investment Bank (EIB) – the EU bank – today announced the signature of a €125 million financing agreement. This first operation between the EIB and Livie is an important step in accelerating the construction of affordable housing in France.
The EIB loan, guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, will support Livie's development by financing 1 500 new homes. It will thereby provide the company with the financial resources it needs to support the launch of its vast programme.
These 1 500 affordable homes will be financed and delivered over the next five years across the country, particularly in densely populated areas with increasing pressure on access to housing. Priority will be given to the Île-de-France, Grand Est, Sud (Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur) and Rhône-Alpes regions, which have some of the most heavily populated metropolitan areas in France (Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Nice and Strasbourg), as well as the urban areas of Nantes, Toulouse and Pau.
This operation will enable middle-income workers whose incomes are too high for social housing but often have difficulty finding accommodation on the private market to access quality housing with affordable rents. In particular, this issue affects many employees engaging in professional mobility, mainly in large towns and cities.
In addition, this project will help create a more balanced local residential market, with sufficient housing to meet the current needs of middle-income households, i.e. mostly professionals who are key to a functioning society. It will also make a significant contribution to urban renewal, cohesion and improving living standards for middle-income households. Over 3 000 residents will benefit from these homes, the construction of which will create 3 300 jobs per year during the construction phase. Lastly, each home built will meet the highest environmental standards, in line with the EIB’s commitments to financing the best performing climate action projects.
By providing a solution to this key issue in under-pressure areas, Livie is closing one of the missing links in the residential sector by facilitating access to housing for a very large portion of the population, providing them with the option of delayed purchase of their home over the long term. This product is an important driver of economic development for the host communities.
Livie President Pascal Barbottin said: “We thank the European Investment Bank for the trust it has placed in us with this €125 million loan. It recognises Livie's financial model and reinforces it well beyond the need for affordable rental housing in France. This new affordable real estate product – which also evolves by offering a delayed purchase option – is a key economic driver, in addition to social rental housing. This financing will enable Livie to continue to develop within the BATIGERE Network and alongside the major authorities throughout the country.”
“Since the coronavirus pandemic hit Europe, the EIB has been fully mobilised to support businesses. It is also continuing its mission to provide long-term financing to the economy and the green transition as the EU climate bank,” said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. “By supporting the development of high-quality and more accessible housing in densely populated regions and metropolitan areas with Livie, the EIB is meeting a twofold objective at the heart of its priorities: reducing household energy use while supporting business activity and employment.”
European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni, added: “Under this agreement between the EIB and Livie, the Investment Plan for Europe will support the construction of 1 500 new affordable homes. And as these new homes will be built according to the highest environmental standards, this project will also contribute to fighting climate change.”
Following on from this agreement, calls for projects were launched by Livie to identify the promoters and partners able to best support them. More than ever, the BATIGERE Network and its Livie subsidiary will be ready to provide solutions to the needs arising from ongoing and future health and economic crises.
About the BATIGERE Network:
The BATIGERE Network is made up of 24 structures across France (ten social housing companies, four cooperatives, three associations, three economic interest groups, two foundations, one affordable housing company and one socially beneficial cooperative company for home ownership) and has almost 150 000 homes throughout the country.
At its origins is the BATIGERE Group, which is organised around six social housing companies, a low-rent housing cooperative and a centre dedicated to services to individuals. With the aim of making housing a key vehicle for civic engagement, it relies on mutualised structures and the AMLI association that support vulnerable people and manage specialised residences. The group's structures employed almost 1 600 staff in 2020 and manage a total of 90 000 housing units.
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