In September 2020, our new H2020 project called ComAct – Communities’ Taylored Actions for Energy Poverty Mitigation took off. In the next three years, we will be working together with our partners from Bulgaria, North-Macedonia, Lithuania, and Ukraine on a new financial and technological renovation scheme for multi-apartment buildings focusing specifically on energy poverty in Central-Eastern Europe (CEE). Due to the very high homeownership rates in the region, the traditional schemes shaped by Western-European experiences, where energy poor people typically rent their homes, are hardly applicable here. Thus a new approach is needed, as there are a lot of people in CEE who live in their own apartments but still need assistance to renovate their homes. A comprehensive and effective program needs to cover the financial, technical, and communal aspects of renovation of multi-apartment buildings, therefore, ComAct combines all the three factors.
While the financial and technical factors are frequently discussed and studied, less work analyzed the communal aspects of the renovation of multi-apartment buildings. Thus we aim to unfold the obstacles of renovation stemming from the dynamics of the community, and we try to find ways to overcome these obstacles. These can include the mixed social composition of condominiums, differences in financial situation and interests, but also previous conflicts within the community. ComAct builds upon the idea, that with community building and good management of the community it is possible to include many of those condominiums in mainstream renovation programs that have been left out from these previously.
Within the framework of the pilot programs of ComAct, multi-apartment buildings will be renovated in all of the five partner countries. MRI works on the deep renovation of buildings in the third district of Budapest in cooperation with the municipality of Óbuda and local NGOs. We aim to find the complex technical-financial-communal solution, which makes deep renovation available for low-income households too. We want to change the widespread approach, according to which deep renovation is a luxury and can be available only for high-income groups. We believe that these overarching interventions have to be and can be made accessible also for communities affected or threatened by energy poverty.
The website of ComAct will be out soon, till then, check REELIH, our previous project related to energy poverty in the region at https://www.habitat.org/emea/stories/rely-reelih.
Source of photos: Municipality of Óbuda