Leuven officials to adopt an all-electric car fleet by 2030
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    Leuven officials to adopt an all-electric car fleet by 2030

    Léon Schreursvest 1 in Leuven. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    Leuven’s fleet of public service vehicles will be fully electric by 2030 and its buildings will become more energy-efficient, the city mayor said as he announced up to €440 million in social and environmental investments.

    At a press conference unveiling the multiannual budget for the 2020-2025 period, Leuven Mayor Mohamed Ridouani announced that over €10 million had been earmarked for sustainable and social measures.

    A total of €8.9 million would be invested to build additional cycle paths and sheds, while an additional €850,000 would serve to create around 50 mobility hubs, or mobipoints, a single-stop point offering users access to different transport options.

    The city will also push for a more sustainable use of energy, with €2.6 million added to the budget for subsidies awarded for energy-saving measures and €1 million to make public administration buildings more energy-efficient, Het Nieuwsblad reports.

    Public officials will also part from their conventional diesel or petrol-powered vehicles, with the entire fleet set to go fully electric by 2030, the mayor announced.

    Additionally, the new budget also allocates significant resources to the fight against homelessness and poverty, with the mayor announcing that two separate envelopes of €150 million would go into poverty alleviation measures and child and elderly care and home care.

    The city will up its efforts to fight homelessness by injecting €250,000 in a housing-first policy, with additional posts created for social workers. Additionally, as part of the fight against discrimination in the private rental market, a rental premium will be offered to anyone who has been waiting for a housing spot for more than two years.

    The investments, which according to the outlet will aim to make the city greener, more caring and more prosperous, were introduced as the mayor announced an increase in the surcharge on property tax, which will go from €880 to €975.

    According to finance alderman Carl Devlies, the hike will mostly concern legal persons, as well as a large number of owners who do, are not residents in the city, which make up as much as 40% of those subject to the raise.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times