Germany: investing in the long-term integration of migrants through social housing
Long-lasting partnership with Germany intensifies in the face of the migrant crisis.
An overall investment backlog in public infrastructure at federal municipal level is believed to hamper German growth perspectives. Not only have public investments in infrastructure declined over the last decade, but the unprecedented influx of migrants and refugees has caused additional strain on local facilities, particularly housing.
In June 2015, the Federal Government adopted a law to promote capital investments across the country and support financially weak municipalities. Many of the federal states (Länder) have also launched their own complementary programmes to boost investments at local level.
One such example is the state of Brandenburg, whose government has made the promotion of affordable housing a key priority, as a way of dealing with migration pressure, and demographic changes such as an ageing population.
The state’s implementing partner, Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg (ILB), turned to the CEB for financing, as the Bank’s long-term funds are particularly suited for funding socially-oriented rental housing programmes.
The CEB’s Administrative Council approved a € 300 million loan to ILB in June this year.
The CEB loan will be used for the construction of new rental housing and the renovation and modernisation of existing facilities in inner cities areas of Brandenburg identified as priority zones. The CEB funds will enable Brandenburg municipalities to maintain, renovate, expand or scale down their local public infrastructure as necessary, in order to provide essential services efficiently and reliably.
The loan will make it possible to ensure continued provision of affordable dwellings for Brandenburg’s population. The envisaged sub-projects will serve as instruments for municipalities to support young families and the elderly, integrate migrants and avoid segregation.
The CEB loan will make an important contribution to the integration of migrants and refugees by substituting sub-standard, temporary housing with decent long-term accommodation.
Cooperation with Germany intensifies
Since its inception, the CEB has enjoyed a productive cooperation with Germany, one of the Bank’s founding member countries. This long-lasting partnership has intensified since the beginning of the migrant crisis, which has considerably affected Germany.
In addition to the € 300 million loan to ILB, this year the CEB also approved a € 50 million loan to NRW Bank, the state development bank of North Rhine-Westphalia. This is an extension of the funding granted in 2013 with the aim increasing the availability of social housing for low-income families, the elderly, persons of migrant background, and persons with disabilities. North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany’s most heavily and most densely populated federal state.
With a € 230 million loan to Wirtschafts-und Infrastrukturbank Hessen (WI Bank), the CEB is also supporting the federal state of Hesse in its efforts to increase the social housing stock for the benefit of vulnerable groups, including migrants. The funds will be used for investments in the area of social rented housing for low-income persons, migrant families, persons with disabilities, and unemployed persons in financial difficulties.