Regarding the progression of their Action Plan, the progress of the Public Enterprise for Social Housing and Refurbishment in Andalusia (AVRA), Regional Ministry of Public Works and Housing has unfortunately slowed due to various circumstances, especially during the times of COVID-19.
Originally, Andalusia had planned to have an important institutional Community of Practice (CoP) event for the presentation of their Action Plan during the first quarter of the year, and they also had proposed some additional activities in light of the presentation. But while waiting for Interreg approval, which came on the 9th of March, COVID-19 had struck Spain hard, and large meetings were no longer allowed to be held. Not much later, on the 13th of March, the Spanish government declared the state of alarm. Therefore, since then, the Spanish citizens have been confined in their homes – and although still teleworking, this has caused some delays for AVRA. The public works and procurements relating to VIOLET have been suspended, affecting AVRA’s Action 2 of their Action Plan, which was to start in this semester.
However, some actions have been undertaken, despite the crisis:
Concerning Action 1, AVRA was informed that their proposal for including energy efficiency on OT6 had been approved in January 2020. This means that energy efficiency improvement has been included in the conservation, reactivation or rehabilitation of cultural heritage in OT6 [Priority line 6c ‘’Conservation, protection, promotion and development of the natural and cultural heritage’’, particularly among the results for the specific objective; ‘’OE 6.3.1 Promote the protection, promotion and development of the cultural heritage’’ (page 256), among the actions and interventions for the protection, promotion and development of the cultural heritage (page 260); the selection criteria principles (page 265)]. Following this, Sub-action 1.1 of AVRA’s Action Plan has been achieved.
Regarding Sub-action 1.2 of their Action Plan, AVRA still has some doubts – there is nothing specifically written in the terms they had wanted to achieve. For example, the redistribution of the budget has been allocated to the Rehabilitation of Public Buildings of Architectural Interest Programme – known by its Spanish acronym as PREPIA – so an amount of this budget could be assigned specifically to studies, assessments, analysis and / or energy audits of historic buildings included in the programme in order to have a general diagnosis of the buildings. If the request is accepted, approximately twenty historical buildings have the potential to be analysed for testing the methodology in addition to innovative solutions, turning the PREPIA into a living laboratory.
Following the approval of Sub-action 1.1, various activities concerning energy efficiency of historical buildings – including physical interventions as well as studies, assessments, analysis and energy audits – would be included under the actions financed by OT6 as stated in in the paragraph: "Actions to preserve, reactivate and rehabilitate buildings and/or public spaces of architectural and cultural interest. The improvement of the energy efficiency of buildings of architectural and cultural interest can be financed, as part of the conservation, reactivation or rehabilitation projects, always guaranteeing the heritage and cultural values" (page 260). However, the inclusion of the following sentence, "as part of the conservation, reactivation or rehabilitation projects," may lead us to interpret that such studies must be linked to one specific building, not being able to conduct a general analysis covering several buildings in which there is not physical intervention associated. A request for clarification of this issue have been done by AVRA to European Funds Office but, so far, there is not much than personal interpretations and nothing formal like an official answer.
Concerning Sub-action 1.3, AVRA has already requested to define the Strategic Lines of Action for the next OP 2021-2027, and they have made a proposal. However, at this moment, only working with larger lines and not with the particular ones. However, a request was sent by AVRA to the CFIOT (Regional Ministry of Development, Infrastructure and Spatial Planning) in February 2020, and AVRA is still waiting for a reply.
Regarding Action 3, AVRA’s was already working with the CFIOT to include a specific research line in Plan VIVE, related to the VIOLET main objectives. The Plan VIVE in Andalusia 2020-2030 will allocate €800 million to the promotion of affordable housing in the community, both for purchase and rent, as well as rehabilitation. Plan VIVE was to be approved in April 2020, but due to the situation, this has yet to occur and AVRA still awaits an answer.