It’s time for Europe to invest

Throughout Europe, buildings are old and too many were built at a time when energy efficiency and carbon emission reductions were not a consideration. This is a real opportunity to invest in European building stock and reap the multiple benefits of renovation from reduced health care costs, social costs and lost productivity.

In total, it is estimated that the European economy could gain more than €600 billion from well-being benefits by 2050 by reducing indoor climate hazards.

Descent housing equals health

An investment in housing is more than just improving living conditions. Healthy homes can also play a role in reducing inequities and illness.

Recent data from the World Health Organisation shows that the policy action of investing in housing would have the greatest impact in reducing health inequities over a period of two to four years – much more so than investing directly in health.

European households are living in energy poverty, many of them unable to heat their homes in winter. This figure is likely to increase in line with the current hike in energy prices. Decent and affordable housing has a huge potential for improving health and well-being of many Europeans with twice as many reporting poor health when living in energy poverty.