What kind of subsidies can you obtain for the renovation projects of a housing company in 2021?
Renovating a housing company is profitable, but often involves large amounts of money. Fortunately, the Finnish Government and municipalities support housing companies in many projects relating to the renovation and improvement of living conditions. Subsidies are granted for improvements of the indoor air and energy efficiency of the building, and to the installation of lifts and charging points for electric cars, for example. We gathered the most important information about seven subsidies available to housing companies.
Energy and interior air subsidy
Subsidies for energy and indoor air renovations of housing companies have been available since 2020. The subsidies are managed by the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA), which also grants most of the subsidies. The purpose of the new subsidy scheme is to maintain the quality of the building stock and to promote systematic building management.
An energy subsidy can be granted for the planning and repair costs of a renovation to improve the energy efficiency of a building. The housing company can receive support for up to 50% of the costs of the repairs. The maximum subsidy is €6,000 per apartment. When applying for the subsidy, a plan signed by a construction industry professional and a cost estimate of the measures to improve the energy efficiency of the building must be presented. The improvement in the energy efficiency of the building must be demonstrated by means of E figure calculations.
An indoor air subsidy can be granted for the costs arising from condition surveys and/or the planning of a major renovation in the case of a property with humidity or microbial damage, or indoor air problems. Repair costs are not covered by the subsidy. The maximum amount of subsidy is half of the actual planning costs. The application for a subsidy for the planning of a major renovation must include a condition survey report in which the indoor air problem or the damage due to humidity or microbes is identified. Furthermore, competence of both the author of the condition survey and the designing engineer in charge of the planning of the major renovation must be proven when applying for the subsidy.
An energy saving survey provides professional assistance in the application process, including the calculations required for the E figure and energy performance certificate. During a humidity and indoor air survey, qualified indoor air experts investigate the housing company’s indoor air problem.
Subsidy for the construction of electric vehicle charging infrastructure
Many housing companies are currently planning the installation of charging stations for electric cars. ARA grants subsidies for the implementation of charging stations. A total of €5,5 million has been budgeted for charging infrastructure subsidies in 2021.
A subsidy can be applied also for modifications of the electricity system to enable the charging of electric cars at the property. The housing company must build a charging station for at least five cars. The subsidy can cover a maximum of 35% of the actual costs, and the maximum subsidy amount is €90,000.
An electric car charging station needs assessment provides good initial data for the planning of the electricity system. The assessment determines, among other things, how many charging stations can be installed in the property with the current electricity system or with minor modifications of the electricity system in the parking area.
Subsidies for listed and prominent sites
Some old apartment buildings can receive subsidies from the Finnish Heritage Agency or the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and Environment (the ELY Centre). The Finnish Heritage Agency grants subsidies for the restoration of buildings and historical sites, and the ELY Centre grants subsidies for building heritage sites.
The subsidies may be applied for repairs to promote the preservation of a building or site. The buildings to which these subsidies are granted are usually listed or otherwise prominent buildings. They may also be part of a valuable landscape area.
The restoration subsidy can cover up to 40% of the repair costs up to €8,000. If this amount is exceeded, 25% of the costs will be covered. The maximum subsidy amount is €35,000. The amount of the subsidy for building heritage sites is always considered on a case-by-case basis, but the subsidy can be a maximum of 50% of the total costs of the repairs. The application period for both subsidies ends in October/November.
An experienced project manager can tell you whether your housing company is eligible for these subsidies.
Lift and accessibility subsidy
ARA also supports housing companies in the elimination of obstacles to accessibility. The purpose of the accessibility subsidy is to enable persons with restricted mobility to access the building and its facilities. The subsidy can be granted for the widening of doorways or the installation of handrails, for example. The subsidy can cover a maximum of 45% of the approved repair costs.
A lift subsidy can be granted to a housing company that does not have a lift. The subsidy can be a maximum of 45% of the construction costs of the lift or lifts. Many municipalities also grant subsidies for the retrofitting of lifts.
Repair planning experts can assist you with the architectural, structural, HVAC and electrical planning connected to the retrofitting of a lift.