Expatica news

Private capital for social housing

21 February 2007

BRUSSELS- Flemish Minister for Housing Marino Keulen (VLD) is going to look for private investors to step up the pace at which social housing can be built. About 2,500 new homes a year were built in social housing projects over the past years but the waiting lists remain as long as ever.

Keulen is looking for new instruments to finance social housing through public-private cooperation. The Participatie Maatschappij Vlanders (PMV) is looking into the possibilities and will publish a report in March, but the minister is already talking with enthusiasm about setting up the Woonbevak (closed ended corporate investment fund for housing) in order to raise private funds. De Morgen reported this today.

Keulen hopes new financing methods can kick start the sector into increasing the supply of housing. Figures requested by Flemish MP Else De Wachter (SP.A) show that 2,488 social housing units came on the market in both 2004 and 2005. The figures for 2006 suggest that not much changed last year.

In the meantime there are 10,000 families on the waiting list for social housing. That number is decreasing very little, if at all.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news