About 95% of all houses in Flanders will have to be renovated to achieve the Flemish energy objectives by 2050, according to a study from the Policy Research Centre Housing (Steunpunt Wonen).
The Flemish government wants all homes to comply with the highest criteria as well as the basic health and safety standards by 2050. To accomplish that, about €5 billion will have to be invested in the renovations every year, according to the research, as continuing at the current renovation speed will see Flanders missing the objectives.
“The study shows that the current pace of renovation is not sufficient to realise these ambitions. For the most vulnerable groups in particular, the necessary renovations are lagging behind,” said the Policy Research Centre Housing, reports De Standaard.
Lack of financial resources remains one of the biggest barriers, but other elements, like a lack of information and a shortage of technically skilled professionals, also add to the high number of people choosing not to renovate.
In order to bring Flemish housing up to the desired level by 2050, “considerable efforts” are needed from households, but also from the Flemish government. “Grants and subsidies are best directed towards the works with the most priorities, and the groups with the highest renovation needs,” the centre said, reports VRT.
More money should also go to awareness-raising, as well as information and guidance for otherwise vulnerable groups.
The Flemish government has already incorporated many of the recommendations into its policy, responds Flemish Minister of Housing Matthias Diependaele.
“What pleases me is that the study shows that many Flemish people consider energy renovation to be important, and that a lot is already being invested in it,” said Matthias Diependaele, the Flemish Minister for Housing, reports De Standaard. “Of course, there are also Flemish people who are not yet aware of that importance, but we are tackling that by raising awareness and helping them a little,” he added.