Interim project report to the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund
Seebauer, S., Friesenecker, M., Eisfeld, K. (2019). Integrating climate and social housing policy to alleviate energy poverty: An analysis of targets and instruments in Austria. Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, doi:10.1080/15567249.2019.1693665 (formerly Working Paper BALANCE-WP-1)
Housing conditions are addressed by climate policy in retrofitting buildings and by social policy in providing affordable and adequate housing. Aim This paper illustrates intersections between both policy spheres in Austria and argues that disjunct policies undermine efforts at alleviating energy poverty. We identify conditions under which housing in Austria may lead to reduction in carbon emissions and inequality. Methods A concurrent triangulation design combines secondary data analysis, semi-structured expert interviews, and an in-depth analysis of legal documents. Results Energy poor and generally poor similarly live in low-quality and inefficient housing. Climate and social policy suffer from fragmented jurisdictions lacking inter-sectoral integration and do not accurately target the energy poor. Structural investments and the provision of affordable, adequate housing conflict due to the tenant/landlord dilemma. Implications Socio-economic conditions and housing market structures need to be incorporated in policy design. Inter-ministerial collaboration may mainstream the integration of climate and social policy.