Loans, guarantees and equity investment for affordable housing – European Investment Bank

Luxembourg, European Investment Bank Better Finance, Public loans, grants and investment


EIB is the lending arm of the European Union and is the biggest multilateral financial institution in the world.  EIB is financially autonomous and raises money by issuing bonds on capital markets. The Bank’s excellent credit rating enables it to raise this finance at very low interest rates.

Actors involved

  • European Investment Bank



More information

Since its establishment in 1958, EIB has invested over a trillion euros by providing loans, loan guarantees and equity investment.  Its activities focus on five priority areas: climate and environment; development, innovation and skills; small and medium-sized businesses; infrastructure; and cohesion.  EIB does not provide finance for market housing, but non-market housing was a major element of the EUR 150 billion which EIB has invested in urban projects to date.[1]  The Bank funds the following type of non-market housing:

  • Social and affordable rental housing
  • Refugee accommodation or reception centres, and associated infrastructure provided during the asylum process
  • Student accommodation and accommodation for apprentices
  • Care homes and assisted living accommodation
  • Shared equity housing including rent-to-buy or partial ownership where justified by clear market failures and public policy priorities

This finance for housing is distributed by loans, loan guarantees and equity investments.  EIB lends directly to social and affordable housing providers, but more commonly its finance is distributed via special-purpose financial intermediaries which manage housing investment in member countries.  These organizations are discussed later in this chapter.

[1] European Investment Bank Group, Social and affordable housing overview 2020 (Luxembourg, 2020). Available at