With a rather scarce budget, the Spanish ministry for Development has announced it will introduce a plan to stimulate the construction sector. Yet, building is not an actual option amid the current crisis. The alternative proposed by the government points at promoting housing rehabilitation. Indeed, there are more than 27 million homes in Spain and some 50 percent date back 30 years, and back 50 years in a fifth of the housing stock.
The Spanish housing project, the ninth such measure, follows the European Commission’s €120 billion programme funded by the European Investment Bank and agreed last June by European leaders within the Growth and Employment Pact.
Minister Ana Pastor has rescued the 2011 Sustainable Economy Law, approved by the former Socialist government, to push for urban renovation. The ultimate goal would be new jobs and the long-awaited reform of the country’s homes.
Spain’s move has its framework in the Renewing Europe campaign by EuroAce, the European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings that was formed in 1998 by twenty of Europe’s leading companies involved with the manufacture, distribution and installation of a variety of energy saving goods and services. The EuroACE member companies together employ 172,000 people and have a turnover of €140 billion.
But the direct reference is a German project. According to the Jülich centre of investigation, a similar plan supported with loans and bonds issued by the German Bank for Development generated 340,000 new jobs. If implemented at a EU level, energy efficiency in buildings could be enhanced a 32 percent and up to 1.1 million new jobs created in the construction industry.
The Spanish workers union CCOO and the Polytechnic University of Madrid estimate this initiative would bring some 100,000 new jobs by 2020 by targeting 565,000 homes per year.