The much-awaited Renovation Wave Strategy of the European Commission has proved that the global health pandemic can be an opportunity to build back a green, fair society where everybody can fulfill their full potential.


The Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI) that will pilot 100 lighthouse renovation districts focuses on creating quality, liveable, affordable homes for people and will mobilise cross-sectoral project partnerships.


Let's shape it together!

What features should the projects supported by the AHI have? 

We consider that those criteria remain relevant and should guide the selection of projects:

Programme kick-off in 2022 at latest.

Ensure affordable living costs: rent, energy and charges.

Generate and protect employment by contracting both SMEs & large contractors in the construction sector.

Inclusion of vulnerable communities & areas with social problems.

Improve quality of life in homes (consider balconies), buildings, and neighbourhoods (common/green areas)

Produce measurable reductions in GHG emissions of at least 100 districts through renovation of social and private homes, switching of heating & installation to renewables, connection to heat networks & installations of renewable energy & sustainability & circularity measures.

Act as laboratory for improvement of skills around digitalisation, use of modular renovation tool-kits, advanced co-decision making with residents, collaboration with local authorities, performance-based procurement, sustainable financing and better regulation.

What process
would you like to see?

We recommend an European-wide call for district renovation projects. 


Project proposals should be led by a relevant group of stakeholders with social, cooperative and public housing providers as leading force.


Application period could be open for 6 months and will lead to the selection of 100 projects. 


A Committee made of representatives of the European Commission and independent experts would assess the projects against agreed criteria to make the selection.

The selected projects will have access to technical assistance funding as well.

Call for projects

six-month application period


of 100 districts by Committee

Funding available

The European Commission suggest that the main sources of funding would come from:

  • Technical Support Instrument (TSI) to support administrative capacity.

  • Resilience and Recovery Facility (RRF) to support district renovations as part of the Member States' National Recovery Plans.

  • Modernisation Fund (MF) available for the 10 lower income Member States to support energy efficiency investments in buildings and district heating pipelines.

  • REACT-EU, ERDF and ESF until 2023.

We believe these funding streams are not sufficient to deliver the Affordable Housing Initiative,


A dedicated budget line will be necessary for the effective implementation of the AHI and to help steering the initiative from the EU level and ensuring that common principles and outcomes are achieved. It will also guarantee replication of the 100 district in the medium to long term.

Funding needs

Considering it takes 60 000 € per housing unit for a deep renovation aiming at EPC A or B, and if we aim at renovating 1000 housing unit per district, the budget for the AHI need to be around €6 billion.


per housing unit

to EPC A/B

€ 60,000 


of 100 districts with 1,000 units per district

€ 6 billion 

  • The EU should support 100% of the AHI costs.

  • The EIB could cover 50% with repayable loans.

How should the initiative
be governed? 

To ensure visibility, coherence and ownership, we recommend the creation of an Affordable Housing Initiative Steering Group with representatives of the European Commission, EIB, social, cooperative and public housing, the construction sector, and cities, amongst others.


The Steering Group should act as a sounding board for better policy making at EU level, drawing lessons from national, regional and local level . It can be a platform to draw on the experience in the social, cooperative and housing sector.

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