Minister for Housing Henri Kox, Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot, and Minister for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Lex Delles jointly presented a range of initiatives on Tuesday aimed at providing support to the struggling construction industry.
Among the measures announced by Ministers Kox, Fayot, and Delles was an increase in the ceiling for a financing law governing public construction projects, raising it from €40 to €60 million.
The construction sector, which employs approximately 55,000 individuals, has been grappling with a lack of orders, raising concerns about potential difficulties faced by several companies following the collective holiday period.
To stimulate new business opportunities for small enterprises in the sector, crèches, drop-in centres (maisons-relais), and youth centres will receive increased subsidies to be used for renovation and modernisation.
In addition, financial aid for companies seeking to enhance the energy efficiency of their premises through renovation and modernisation will be increased.
An investment of €1.4 million from the European Social Fund will also be dedicated to training programmes, enabling employees to acquire skills in the installation and maintenance of new technologies such as heat pumps and photovoltaic systems.
Meanwhile, municipalities will receive an extra budget of €25 million to facilitate the energy renovation of their buildings.
In addition to these measures, Henri Kox announced further amendments to the draft bill concerning individual housing assistance.
The revision includes raising the upper limit for a state guarantee on real estate loans from the current level of around €157,000 to €278,000.
Subsidies for interest on housing loans for households with children will be increased, and the subsidy levels will be adjusted based on income to ensure a more socially targeted approach.
First-time buyers of flats will also be eligible for short-term compensatory allowance of €20,000.
These proposed changes are pending review by the Council of State. However, it is expected that the legislative project will be voted on before the upcoming elections.
The government estimates the total value of the announced package of measures to be around €150 million.