Receiving subsidies as a social-economy company in the property sector

Summary

This provision aims to provide financial support to social-economy companies that operate in the property sector, with the aim of acquiring buildings with a view to renovating or transforming them, in order to make them available in the form of private or social housing, or spaces to be used by non-profits or companies with a social purpose, with a view to professional use.

“Housing” is understood to mean sufficient space or equipment for at least one household (Art. 1, Paragraph 28 of the Walloon Housing Code) to live there permanently.

“Professional space” is understood to mean sufficient space or equipment for a professional activity to be carried out there permanently.

The assistance is intended to cover project-management costs, specifically staffing and operational costs directly related to the project.

The social-economy company may be managed by another company.

However, in order for the invoices to be eligible for the subsidy, the other company must also be a social-economy company and must satisfy the same criteria as the company that is leading the project.

In addition, it must provide detailed invoices indicating, in particular, the number of hours of actual work carried out.

The assistance may not be used to cover the cost of purchasing or renovating the buildings, or any related taxes.

The amount of the costs that justify the assistance will be calculated excluding VAT, as soon as the social-economy company is able to deduct this.

Inspections and penalties

Inspectors from the Social inspection department are responsible for inspecting and monitoring the measure.

The Minister decides on the reimbursement of the assistance, in particular when the obligations provided for by the Decree from the Walloon Government of 8 March 2012 are not complied with, without prejudice to the provisions of the Law of 16 March 2003 establishing the general provisions applicable to budgets, the control of subsidies and the accounts of the Communities and Regions, as well as the organisation of the control of the Court of Auditors.

This recovery may takes place by any legal means, including compensation.

Key points

In the event of a contribution in kind from one of the shareholders and/or collaborators in the social-economy company of real rights for the building around which the project is based, the date to be considered is that of the official transfer of the property to the company.

The housing project that is submitted for a subsidy must be part of a social approach in line:

  • with the target audience of the building’s development, transformation or renovation works;
  • or with the final beneficiaries of the targeted housing or professional spaces.

In addition, the housing project must allow for the creation of at least three additional dwellings and/or professional spaces, relative to the status of the social economy-company’s housing inventory on the date on which the project is submitted.

In detail

Target audience – details

To benefit from subsidies, the social-economy company must satisfy the following criteria:

  • be a company with a social purpose, as outlined in Article 661 of the Companies Code
  • have a project concerning:
    • either the acquisition of a building within three months of the submission of said project
    • or the renovation of a building that has been acquired less than six months prior to the submission of the project
    • have a property business
    • have property asset management as their primary or ancillary social purpose
    • have a corporate goal that involves allocating any profits as a priority to activities related to either childcare, housing, or the socio-professional integration of at-risk individuals
Benefits

The assistance available is divided into two parts:

  • a basic subsidy with a maximum amount of €60,000.00
  • an additional subsidy, which is granted within two years of the basic subsidy, with a maximum amount of €35,000.00

The aid is granted in accordance with Commission Regulation (EC) No 1998/2006 of 15 December 2006 on the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the Treaty to de minimis aid

The total subsidy (basic and additional subsidies) can only be requested ONCE EVERY FIVE YEARS by the same company.

Note:

To obtain a list of de minimis aid, go to:
www.aides-entreprises.be

Perform a multi-criteria search as follows: “Text: contains de minimis”.

You will then receive a list of all categories of de minimis aids.

The additional subsidy

The basic subsidy can be increased by an additional subsidy within two years of it being granted.

IF

  • the building(s) acquired is/are in a privileged area, as established by the Decree from the Walloon Government of 7 July 1994 establishing the privileged areas or zones located in an initiative area, as defined by the Minister
  • the building(s) acquired allow(s) for at least six dwellings and/or professional spaces to be placed on the rental market;
  • at least 30% of the shares in the company belong to individuals;
  • at least 1/3 of housing tenants are affected by one of the partnerships implemented by the social-economy company, as part of the creation of rental spaces with a social purpose (see point 5, (c));
  • the company promotes the integration of trainees or job-seekers into employment with companies in the construction sector, as part of the renovation work it has carried out;
  • the building that is made available in the form of private or social housing, or spaces that can be used by non-profits or social-economy companies for professional purposes, satisfies the “very low energy” requirement, i.e. “EW 45 and K ≤30, in terms of the energy performance of buildings (http://energie.wallonie.be).

The amount of the additional subsidy will be:

  • €15,000.00 if at least one criterion is satisfied;
  • €20,000.00 if at least two criteria are satisfied;
  • €35,000.00 if at least three criteria are satisfied;
Procedure

Where applicable, a complaint may be filed with the shared ombudsman of the French Community and the Walloon region, in accordance with Article 12 of the cooperation agreement concluded on 3 February 2011 between the French Community and the Walloon region, concerning the creation of a mediation service that is shared by the French Community and the Walloon region, to which consent was given with the Decree of 31 March 2011.

This claim can be submitted in writing to the following address:
Médiateur de la Wallonie et de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles
Rue Lucien Namèche, n°54
B-5000 Namur

Conditions

The company’s commitments

In order to benefit from the subsidy, the social-economy company agrees:

  • not to sell or transfer the building acquired for five years from the date on which the subsidy is paid;
  • to offer – possibly after renovation – housing and professional spaces;
  • to establish a partnership with a public social-welfare centre, a municipality, a housing-promotion association, a public-service housing company or a social property agency if the rental spaces have a social purpose.
Legal references
  • Decree of 8 November 2008 concerning the social economy (M.B. of 31 December 2008, p. 69.056).

    Decree from the Walloon Government of 8 March 2012 concerning the execution of Article 2 of the Decree of 8 November 2008 concerning the social economy, with a view to developing social-economy companies in the property sector (M.B. of 20 September 2012, p. 16.351).

Contacts

Services

DGO6 – Social economy department
Place de la Wallonie, 1
5100 JAMBES
081/33.43.80 (Secrétariat)

Personnes de contact

Monsieur RASSON Frédéric 
Attaché 
Place de Wallonie, 1 (Bâtiment 3 rez-de-chaussée)
5100 Jambes
081334221
Updated on
Process n° : 141716
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