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“The rehabilitation of houses leads to improvements in the quality of life and comfort, it strengthens the local economy and contributes to the fight against climate change”

Ana Oregi, president of Ensanche 21 Zabalgunea, believes it is essential to properly inform the residents about the project to rehabilitate 170 homes in Adurtza and San Cristóbal

 

The president of Ensanche 21-Zabalgunea S.A., Ana Oregi, is confident that the Agree project will help Adurtza and San Cristóbal to undertake the necessary renovation work to achieve greater energy efficiency and provide universal accessibility to their buildings.

In order to do this, the town planning company is carrying out important communications activity to explain to the residents of these neighbourhoods the need and appropriateness of undertaking work that will increase their quality of life.

Ana Oregi noted that Ensanche 21 intends to mobilise some 170 homes, which means between 15 and 20 buildings. “At this moment, the preliminary rehabilitation studies are being carried out by building typology. These studies will include cost options, grant and/or financing possibilities, planning, etc. in order to help the owners of the properties interested in carrying out actions of this type to make decisions.”  

 

Where would the Agree project initiatives take place?

The meeting of the Ensanche 21 board of directors, held on 24 February last year, selected the neighbourhoods of Adurtza and San Cristóbal to carry out this project. In reality, we did not start from scratch because we have taken advantage of the work previously carried out at that time by the neighbourhood associations and communities and the efforts that were made, thus giving continuity to this work and recognising these efforts and the proactive attitude towards the regeneration of this area.

The budget provided by Ensanche 21 is 83,680 euros and will be used to draft the preliminary studies for the different building typologies present in the neighbourhoods.  These studies will include cost options, financing possibilities, planning, etc. in order to help the owners of the properties interested in carrying out actions of this type to make decisions.

 

What are the aims?

 In the specific case of Vitoria-Gasteiz, the proposal is to mobilise around 170 homes, which would mean between 15 and 20 buildings in these two neighbourhoods, with the aim of improving the quality of life of the residents. In addition, we want to strengthen the rehabilitation market, improve energy efficiency and provide buildings with universal accessibility. At the same time, it is important to note that major environmental benefits will be obtained, including a significant reduction of CO2 emissions, contributing to the decarbonisation of the city.

This project is in line with the climate action strategy that we have designed for the next few years and consolidates Ensanche 21 as an agency for urban rehabilitation and regeneration.

 

How has the project been received by the neighbourhood communities affected?

 We are still in the early stages. First, we are making a major effort to get in touch with each of the neighbourhood communities and explain to them the need to rehabilitate their buildings. In order to do this, a letter has been sent to each resident, in which we explain the details of the project, and we have placed a more graphic poster at the entrances to the buildings where we present the main characteristics of Agree.

Having done that, we have already begun to meet with the neighbourhood communities to explain in person what the project consists of and we are also talking with the property administrators.

At the same time, the technical proposals in the preliminary studies carried out by building typology are already being drafted so that the owners of the properties can make the necessary decisions to carry out actions of this type.

 

What is the role of Ensanche 21 in this project?

Our aim is to promote the rehabilitation of these two neighbourhoods by applying an innovative methodology of advice and support throughout the entire process. Initially, the homeowners’ associations are provided with a technical study that defines the problems with the building and their possible solutions, estimated cost and the different aid options that could be available.

Following this, Ensanche 21 informs and advises throughout the process and facilitates the establishing of agreements between neighbouring homeowners’ associations, in such a way that the works can be contracted and executed jointly, thus applying the economy of scale in order to achieve a reduction in costs.

 

What benefits do you foresee for your municipality with the implementation of this initiative?

The lines of work of the Vitoria-Gasteiz 2015-2019 Strategic Plan already included “The city of urban rehabilitation and the balance between neighbourhoods”. Within the framework of this line of work, the Strategic Plan included among its commitments the promotion of a Comprehensive Rehabilitation Plan for 20,257 homes over 50 years old and a plan to promote accessibility.

In this regard, with the Agree project we want, on the one hand, to raise awareness and explain to the public the advantages of rehabilitation and, on the other, to promote investment to achieve greater energy efficiency in housing in Vitoria-Gasteiz, through the development and implementation of innovative mechanisms to activate demand and aggregation, better governance and personalised financing solutions.

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