Impact of the COVID-19 on the housing sector in the European Union
Expansion of the EIB's financial support to the housing sector and the creation of the Sustainable Development Bond dedicated to housing
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the financing institution of the European Union. Created by the Treaty of Rome, its shareholders are the Member States of the European Union, and its Board of Governors is composed of the Finance Ministers of these States. The mission of the EIB is to contribute, by financing sound investment, to the policy objectives of the European Union, as laid down in its statutes and in decisions of the European Council. The Bank contributes towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Members of the European Union. To this end, it raises on the markets substantial volumes of funds that it directs on the most favourable terms towards financing capital projects according to the objectives of the Union. Between 2012 and 2019, the EIB provided substantial support for social and affordable housing operations, demonstrating support for EU urban policy and ensuring social and affordable housing investments have been a major recipient of the Bank’s €150 billion in urban lending.
At the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, Dr Orna Rosenfeld was invited by the European Investment Bank to help strengthen and increase the impact of EIB's financial support to the social and affordable housing sector in Europe, including by extending the eligibility of Sustainable Development Bonds to include housing projects.
As a part of her mission to the EIB, Dr Rosenfeld assisted the EIB to refine a methodology for screening housing projects to be included in the bank's Sustainable Development Bonds (SABs). The results of this work have been used to create the first bond for affordable housing specifically, it was also used to advance the EU social taxonomy related to housing and urban matters.
Dr Rosenfeld provided comprehensive research assessing the impact of the COVID-19 related economic crisis on the social and affordable housing sector in the 27 EU member states and provided advice on the future housing needs relevant to the EIBs missions related to the housing sector. Her work supported the EIB to better understand the type of support currently needed by the housing sector in the EU and the best instruments to provide it, especially in view of developments related to the COVID-19 crisis. The results of this work were used by the client to improve the effectiveness of the EIB’s lending to the sector, taking into account the current social and economic climate.
The key results of this research were presented along with the UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Adequate Housing UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Housing.