OCMW Ieper's contribution to Shine
OCMW Ieper will renovate a number of clusters of housing units it owns and rents out to clients living in socially precarious circumstances. The idea behind these renovations is to make the housing units more energy efficient, so that a smaller part of those people’s income goes to energy bills, giving them a bit more spending power. The main benefit of taking part in SHINE lays in the fact that the OCMW Ieper will gain experience in energy-efficient renovations and its technical staff will be able to acquire knowledge from more experienced partners, enhancing their ability to deal with this type of projects in the future. One of the problems we have to deal with is the variety of types of housing units of which a number are listed and cannot be renovated through implementing fundamental exterior measures.
Presentation of the organisation
The OCMW (Public Centre for Social Services) is part of the local, municipal authority. By law, each municipality has to offer this form of social services to its inhabitants. They are the closest point of contact for social services. They have extensive experience with handling social problems for those who cannot claim a pension or other benefits and they provide an income for those people. They also manage two retirement homes, a general hospital and two community centres. A debt management service is also on offer, as well as special courses for immigrants. Their main objective is to care for the most vulnerable people in society. That is why they are also engaged in the social economy, providing work experience for those who need it. They also rent out 100+ properties at below market prices to vulnerable people. Most of these properties perform poorly and do not conform to the new standards of energy economy and carbon exhaust. Technical knowledge of the local staff and budget is limited, but there is a will to improve the properties to the highest possible standards. Once the properties which are being renovated during the project SHINE are finished, they will serve as a model for future renovations of the OCMW’s stock of properties. They will also serve as examples for the neighbourhoods they are situated in.