On October 28, 2021, Housing sector organizations released a joint statement on decarbonization of the EU housing stock, calling the European Commission (EC) to implement 6 key sets of recommendations that can ensure healthier and safer environments for all citizens. Find out what the recommendations are and why their implementation is inevitable.
In their statement addressed to the EC asks to ensure that the transition towards a decarbonized housing stock will maintain its affordability, safety and accessibility. The timing of this initiative is driven by the foreseen EU policy developments with respect to climate policies, in particular the upcoming proposal for amending the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) planned for December 2021, and notwithstanding the Renovation Wave Strategy and Fit for 55 developments.
Ten signatories of the statement act under the umbrella of the European Housing Forum coalition. The coalition brings together major international or European organizations that represent the entire housing sector, including housing consumers, providers, and professionals. Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) has joined the signatories as well.
HFHI contributed with its review of the proposed statement and highlighted the need for specific approach to alleviate energy poverty in Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States region (CEE/CIS), and the case for renovation of multi-apartment buildings, community building and support of homeowner associations in this regard.
In the joint statement, the signatories emphasize the need for “affordability” being a guiding principle when it comes to Renovation Wave Strategy. In parallel, to mitigate the affordability risks, they point out that the EC must refine the financial components of the Strategy so that the funds are sufficient and targeted, and the allocation mechanisms transparent and safeguarded. Furthermore, for successful implementation of the Strategy, the legislative requirements of the proposed policies within the Strategy must be fit for purpose, meaning they must be flexible, progressive, and cost-effective. For a quality Renovation Wave, the Strategy must incorporate a holistic and integrated view of buildings and their renovation. That is an approach that “beyond energy efficiency seeks to improve well-being and comfort of occupants, technology-neutrality as well as the heritage and use values of buildings”.
Therefore, the coalition recommends the following:
- Prioritize measures that demonstrably lead to the greatest CO2 reductions for the lowest costs for building owners and residents;
- Refrain from one-size-fits-all solutions;
- Guarantee that any introduction of new mandatory requirements, including MEPS are led by a sectoral and progressive approach, cost-effectiveness guiding principle and flexibility and focus on the overall objective rather than specific and detailed measures;
- Activate dedicated funding
- Enable quality and targeted training and re/up-skilling of workers and professionals across the sector (construction workers, assessors for respective tools etc.)
- Ensure the establishment, address the current bottleneck and facilitate the efficient management and long-term sustainment of One-Stop-Shops (OSS) to provide assistance and support for renovation to the various segments of the housing sector and the various ownership structure.
Find out more about the recommendations by checking out the full version of the Statement here.