Green housing must be affordable and inclusive for all

(EurActiv, 20 Feb 2023) The revised directive on the energy performance of buildings should ensure the cost neutrality of renovations and not penalise low and middle-income groups, argue Sorcha Edwards, Christophe Robert, Freek Spinnewijn, and Barbara Steenbergen.

Sorcha Edwards is secretary general at Housing Europe. Christophe Robert is the managing director of Fondation Abbé Pierre. Freek Spinnewijn is the director of FEANTSA, and Barbara Steenbergen is the head of the International Union of Tenants (IUT) for the Brussels office. 

The European Parliament’s ITRE committee has adopted a text that could be a decisive step in favour of decent and affordable housing once finally approved by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

Now, the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) could take two very different routes: while it has the potential to be ground-breaking for low- and middle-income groups, enabling them to access quality affordable and healthy housing, it could also push them further into housing exclusion and provoke a wave of renovictions.

Organisations working for affordable housing welcome that energy-efficient renovation of worst-performing homes will be increased, but they also advocate for strong social safeguards to avoid unintended negative social consequences

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EurActiv, 20 Feb 2023: Green housing must be affordable and inclusive for all