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Angra do Heroísmo ,  December 15, 2017

New financial tool allows revolution in urban regeneration and rehabilitation in the Azores

The Vice-President of the Government stated in Angra do Heroísmo that the implementation of the Financial Tool for Urban Rehabilitation and Revitalisation - IFRRU 2020 represents "a unique opportunity" to promote "a revolution in urban regeneration in the Azores." The measure is directed to individuals, private entities, companies and other entities.
"Today, we have a unique opportunity in terms of resources and a challenge in the Azores: conduct a revolution in urban regeneration in the archipelago using these resources," said Sérgio Ávila at the presentation of IFRRU 2020.
According to the government official, this new financial tool allows the funding of projects in conditions that are significantly more favourable than those provided by financial institutions. Furthermore, it "has more ambitious goals that go beyond the rehabilitation of buildings and outdoor spaces."
"Reinforcing the social cohesion policy, introducing new business opportunities and, above all, improving the quality of life of the population are the goals of the urban regeneration and rehabilitation policies we are pursuing in the Azores," said Sérgio Ávila.
In this regard, the Vice-President pointed out that the framework of IFRRU 2020, designed by the Regional Government for the Region, is based on "a new generation of housing and urban development policies. They focus on people and sustainable development, evidencing their commitment to the future of the new generations and of our urban centres."
Sérgio Ávila stressed that these policies "have a positive impact on social inclusion, economic revitalisation, improved use of resources and on energy efficiency."
Azorean families, companies or other entities may already apply for funding to support rehabilitation works, including investments in energy efficiency in rehabilitated buildings.
"There are no pre-determined phases for the submission and decision on applications, nor there are limits on the number of applications for funding," said Sérgio Ávila. He noted that IFRRU also has the "conditions to attract external investment in our municipalities," namely in the area of tourist accommodation.
The financing requests presented by individuals and companies are processed by the banks that have joined this measure through an international public tender: Santander Totta, Banco Português de Investimento (BPI), Millennium BCP and Banco Popular Portugal.
As a condition of access, the works must be located in areas of urban rehabilitation defined by Azorean municipalities.
For projects with lack of sufficient guarantee, it may be alternatively provided by the Portuguese Mutual Guarantee System. However, this option is only accessible to companies.
IFRRU is financed by European funds, including the Azores 2020 Operational Programme.
"The regional participation in this tool is, thus, a further step towards the revitalisation of urban centres. It will attract new residents, economic activities and services of proximity to urban areas, thereby creating more jobs and stimulating economic activity," said the government official.
Sérgio Ávila also expressed his belief that this financial tool "will also significantly contribute to the growth and specialisation of the Construction sector."
In addition to this financial tool intended to support private investment in urban regeneration of buildings by families and companies, the Vice-President also pointed out the "allocation of Community funds that will provide municipalities with a 20 million-Euro financial envelope to be invested in urban regeneration."
"As for the mobilisation of financial resources, this was the amount stipulated with municipalities, which were also requested to develop and submit the respective Integrated Urban Regeneration Plans, the so-called PIRUS," said Sérgio Ávila.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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