Let’s build green!
Endorse our message and encourage the discussion about green homes for all! In order to carry out energy transition in Europe it is necessary to solve energy poverty. Over 50 millions of Europeans live in conditions unsuitable for their health and their environment. SMARTER Finance for Families aims to intensify and improve the discussion between governments and the private sector in order to create new ways of public-private funding of green housing projects for vulnerable families. Help us initiate new partnership by endorsing our message!
“39% of global energy-related carbon emissions are attributed to buildings and dwellings of low-income families are often those which influence air pollution the most. Therefore, green housing for all should be a concern of the whole society.”
Why should we care?
Europeans seem to understand that investment into university education of underprivileged children can provide economic stability for their families. Our social systems subsidize expert medical help for low income groups because if people are healthy, they can easier take care of themselves and those around them. Why don’t we look the same way on housing? SMARTER Finance for Families project is trying to change this perception of green housing and dispel the myth that this is ‘housing for rich’. Restructuring focus of subsidy schemes from energy bills subsidies to investment in quality housing increases the sustainability of social support. More importantly, the quality and comfort of green buildings has a very significant effect on health, energy levels and ability to focus on work or studies. On the other hand, bad indoor air quality, damp and mould are direct causes of respiratory and cancerous diseases with subsequent health care cost reaching billions of euros yearly. Moreover, 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions are attributed to buildings and dwellings of low-income families are often those which influence air pollution the most. Therefore, green housing for all should be a concern of the whole society.
The problem we tackle
The purchase of a new home, regardless of its energy eﬃciency level, is one of the lowest priorities of low-income households. People with limited ﬁnancial resources are often facing many other basic existential problems and their initiative to acquire new green housing is low. Moreover, most of commercial banks and other commercial ﬁnancial institutions consider low income clients a high-risk group for any type of loan.
However, private initiatives from third parties and adjustment of market conditions can make green housing accessible even to low income groups.
In many European countries, subsidy schemes for the renovation of multi-family buildings are already in place. However, quite often grants cover only a part of the investment costs and the rest must be provided by the homeowners; making it less accessible to low income groups which are most threatened by energy poverty.
Solutions we believe in
Vulnerable groups should be provided with support from national schemes fitted to their pockets. Many European countries successfully piloted several solutions from combination of state loans and high subsidies, private green loans guaranteed by state or different forms of green social housing. (see our Catalogue of recommended hybrid green finance solutions with private sector banks).