The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide a EUR 125m loan to the Barcelona Municipal Housing Board (a public entity under the responsibility of the City Government), with the aim of building 2,198 homes for public rental to low-income households. The agreement is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe (the so-called Juncker Plan), and was signed on 21 July 2017 in Barcelona, Spain, by EIB Operations Director for Spain and Portugal Birthe Bruhn-Léon and Mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau.
The EIB loan will finance up to 50% of the total cost of the project to build 23 new housing developments in eight Barcelona districts. All the buildings will be used to cover demand for rented social housing from middle or low-income applicants, while 585 of the new homes will be reserved for people over the age of 65 with limited means. These apartments for older people and their access routes will be equipped for people with limited mobility.
Some of the buildings will be constructed according to new energy efficiency standards, facilitating cuts to energy use and emissions. This project will make it possible to create 2,000 jobs during its implementation phase until 2022.
At the signing ceremony, EIB Operations Director for Iberia Birthe Bruhn-Léon highlighted the fact that this agreement will “facilitate access to social housing in Barcelona and promote development and urban regeneration – both of which are EIB priorities. The project signed today also shows the Juncker Plan's large-scale implementation in Spain. So far this has made it possible to approve 53 operations that are expected to mobilise more than EUR 28.5bn in investment.”
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "This agreement is a clear signal that the Investment Plan is not only providing an important boost to jobs and growth across Europe, but can also help deliver projects which reap high social benefits. I am delighted that the Investment Plan is facilitating access to high-quality, affordable homes for thousands of families in Barcelona. This shows how the EU can have a real, positive impact on the daily lives of European citizens."
For further information, please visit the relevant European Commission and EIB webpages at the links below.