Many rural municipalities have managed to improve the energy performance of public buildings. However, banks usually refuse loans for renovating old Soviet-era apartment buildings, with KredEx the only lifeline for associations.

Of the 300 apartment buildings in Järva Municipality, only about twenty have been renovated. According to Triin Tippi, head of the local government’s economic department, the issue is not a lack of willingness by the owners but rather that rural residents simply lack the funds to insulate their homes.

“Many apartment buildings actually have construction projects ready and waiting. But when the cost per square meter, per apartment or per resident is revealed, it turns out to be very high,” he explained.

Moreover, the renovation of a small apartment building, which is numerous in rural areas, is much more expensive per apartment than in a larger building.

Tippi mentioned that the pace of renovation is also limited because KredEx only provides loans to buildings where 80 percent of the apartments are owned by private individuals. Järva Municipality’s balance sheet alone includes about one hundred apartments in relevant buildings.

Kvatro Property Management manages 28 apartment buildings in Järva Municipality, with decisions already made to renovate 11. However, property manager Hele Pärn said that just to hire a technical consultant and start planning, a homeowners’ association needs to have about €25,000 in its account , which is unaffordable for many. According to Pärn, it is difficult to obtain loans for renovating apartment buildings in rural areas.

“Banks often don’t accept various regions. That leaves only the KredEx loan. These buildings have been in such a condition for many years that nothing has been done. And people are ready, but we just don’t know when the rounds will open , and we have no way to move things faster,” she explained.

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