80% of households can now request aid from the Recovery Plan to rehabilitate homes

The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma), Raquel Sánchez, has highlighted that 80% of households can now request European subsidies for residential rehabilitation, within the framework of the investments provided for in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR).

Almost all the Autonomous Communities have already published the calls for aid for the rehabilitation program for economic and social recovery in residential environments, endowed with 3,4 billion euro, of which 1,2 billion have already been mobilised and 1,4 billion are in process.

This was expressed by the minister at the Residential Rehabilitation Forum held at the Mitma headquarters, which was attended by representatives of the construction, real estate, architecture, and financial entities sectors, among others, and in which the general secretary of Housing and Urban Agenda, David Lucas, and the general director of Urban Agenda and Architecture, Iñaqui Carnicero and the general director of Housing and Land, Fco. Javier Martín, also participated.

In her speech, the head of Mitma has defended the opportunity that the Recovery Plan and European funds represent in the field of residential rehabilitation, since they allow promoting energy efficiency and improving homes, residential buildings and neighbourhoods. In this context, she has advocated joining efforts, pointing out that “investing in rehabilitation is also investing in economic and social development”.

In her speech, the minister reviewed the situation of the building stock in Spain, which has approximately 25.7 million homes, of which nearly 19 million are primary residences. Of them, more than half are prior to 1980, so they are highly improvable in energy efficiency, and more than a million are in poor condition, deficient or dilapidated.

Likewise, she pointed out that, in rural areas, 30% of the building stock is prior to 1960, and secondary and empty dwellings account for 44%, 15 points more than the national average. Regarding the latter, more than 24% are in poor or dilapidated condition; and, in absolute values, more than 410,000 empty homes are practically uninhabitable.

As she explained, the rate of rehabilitation in Spain does not reach 0.1% per year of all homes, compared to France or Norway, where the percentage of homes rehabilitated per year is 2%; in Germany it is around 1.5%; and in Italy it stands at 0.77%, which is why, with the funds, the aim is to contribute to promoting this type of investment.

Thus, she stressed that the objective is to approach 300,000 actions per year, which is the goal set for 2030 in the Integrated National Plan for the Economy and Climate. In short, it is about multiplying by ten the annual residential renovations throughout this decade.

To achieve this, as has been stated, it is necessary to rehabilitate 1.2 million homes by 2030 and, in parallel, undertake a similar process annually with 300,000 square metres (m2) of buildings in the tertiary sector, both public and private.

In this regard, she added that meeting this objective will mean a reduction in annual primary energy consumption of around 3,000 gigawatt hours per year, which is equivalent to 23% of the savings established by the Energy and Climate Plan for the entire residential sector.

The Recovery Plan plays a fundamental role in helping to achieve the rehabilitation and consumption reduction objectives. Not in vain, through the program it is expected to reach 510,000 housing renovation actions in the second quarter of 2026. In total, it is expected to carry out 510,000 rehabilitation actions during the entire period of application of the PRTR. In 2019, slightly more than 31,100 homes were rehabilitated and, although it represents 10% more than in 2018, the Government’s objective is to multiply the activity by ten by 2030, reaching 300,000 homes per year.

The overall objective of the actions financed by European funds is to reduce the consumption of non-renewable energy in homes by at least 30% and to decarbonise and reduce the demand for heating and cooling by at least 7%. It is important to prove the reduction in consumption and for this an expert has to issue an energy certificate for the home or building before and after the action.

Thus, the aim is to reduce the consumption of non-renewable primary energy in homes by 30% and improve comfort and habitability, promoting, for example, the change of windows, the deployment of heating systems powered by renewable energies, or the renovation of obsolete heating and cooling systems.

To end her speech, the minister called for joint efforts and advocated making the most of the opportunity to speed up the transition of the economy towards a new, more efficient and sustainable production model. In this sense, the importance of co-governance and the involvement of the Ministry in monitoring the execution of aid through the convening of multilateral commissions with the Autonomous Communities, Ceuta and Melilla must be underlined.

Not surprisingly, Mitma maintains constant contacts with regional administrations to take advantage of the benefits of European funds, strengthen execution and control mechanisms, and help ensure compliance with the different milestones and objectives agreed with the European Commission.

The residential rehabilitation program is included in component 2 of the PRTR, which has 6,8 billion euro from European ‘NextGenerationEU’ funds. Thus, of the total, 4,4 billion are allocated to rehabilitation programs in residential environments (3,4 billion) and construction of social rental housing in energy efficient buildings (1 billion euro). Likewise, component 2 includes an aid program for the rehabilitation and improvement of the energy efficiency of public buildings, endowed with 1 billion, of which 480 million have been transferred to the Autonomous Communities, Ceuta and Melilla so that they act in their public park and 600 million are managed through calls for aid for local entities, which were closed in the first semester and are pending resolution.

As explained by the minister, the autonomous communities and cities already have more than 2 billion to subsidise rehabilitation and promotion of social rental housing in energy efficient buildings and invest in improving public buildings and build 10,000 social rental homes.

The Aid Program for the comprehensive rehabilitation of residential buildings and homes of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan is endowed with 3,4 billion euro from the European funds ‘NextGenerationEU’. Of the total, 2,9 billion euro are being transferred to the autonomous communities and cities so that they channel the aid to the final recipients through calls and agreements with local entities and promote rehabilitation actions. The remaining 450 million euro are articulated through personal income tax deductions.

To date, the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda has transferred 1,1 billion euro to the CCAA, Ceuta and Melilla, which are publishing calls for aid for owners, tenants, neighbourhood communities, usufructuary, and signing agreements with the municipalities to carry out rehabilitation at the neighbourhood level.

In mid-September, the autonomous communities and cities and Mitma ratified the agreement that sets the criteria for the distribution of the second year of aid endowed with 1,4 billion euro. The territorial distribution and distribution criteria were authorized by the Council of Ministers, and in the subsequent holding of the housing and land sectoral conference.

The PRTR residential rehabilitation plan is divided into five programs that include actions at the neighbourhood, building and housing levels; the creation of offices to provide support services and advice on rehabilitation, the distribution of aid for the preparation of the book of the existing building and the drafting of rehabilitation projects. Likewise, the plan contemplates a series of tax benefits to encourage actions.