Tuesday, January 30, at the National Assembly, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal presented his government’s roadmap in front of the deputies This time, he highlighted the issue of housing. Gabriel Attal thus announced several measures “simplify standards“or even”accelerating access to housing», thanks to the creation of 30,000 new homes in a three-year period.
“Housing supply shock”: Gabriel Attal when he confirms an old promise of Macron
The prime minister also wants to give priority to mayors when choosing an identity.the first allocations of social housing» built in their bathroom. It also plans to change the law on solidarity and urban renewal (SRU law), which obliges the municipalities of large cities. to take a minimum share of social housing in their municipality. Christophe Robert Abbé, the chief trustee of the Pierre Foundation, believes that the government’s options will be detrimental to the housing needs of the poor, as well as the middle class.
Capital: How do you feel following the announcements made by Prime Minister Gabriel Attal about housing?
Christopher Robert: concern At a time when there has never been such a need for social housing, and even with little attention, it does not respond to the needs of households. On the one hand, we have 2.6 million applicant households waiting for social housing. On the other hand, we have a construction dynamic that has never been so weak in 17 years. Last year, only 82,000 social housing units were financed, compared to 125,000 in 2017, at the start of the first five-year mandate.
The Prime Minister explained that he wants to change the SRU law, which establishes a minimum share of 25% of social housing in large cities. Intermediate housing, whose rents are higher than social housing, wants to be included in this 25% quota. However, three-quarters of applicants currently have resources at the level of the highly social housing stock, that is, at lower rents than social housing! The government is therefore targeting the wrong target in my opinion.
How has it fallen short in meeting these needs?
Gabriel Attal’s choice is clearly to support middle class housing with higher rents. We think it’s a bad idea. In our opinion, the choices should focus on the needs of social housing. Let’s go back. Since 2017, the government has reduced the budget of social landlords, first by increasing the VAT on their buildings from 5.5% to 10%, then by implementing a solidarity rent reduction (RLS) financed by these organizations. Social landlords therefore lost 1.3 billion euros per year as a result of these two measures. In order to give them a breath of fresh air and to restart housing construction, we therefore believe that we need to return to the 5.5% VAT for social housing. We also need to reduce the burden of RLS on these institutions.
Do you think giving priority to mayors in the allocation of the first social housing units built in their municipality is a good or bad idea?
The government will have to clarify this point. The aim is, without a doubt, to encourage the mayor to build more social housing, giving them control over the first allocations of these housing units. From your side, we would prefer financial aid for building mayors, for those who encourage construction in their municipality.
The risk is then that the mayors direct less social housing to the most vulnerable households, and favor local demands. In practice, if this measure is taken, it will reduce the State’s weight in the selection of priority houses for this social housing: civil servants, single mothers, houses recognized in the enforceable right to housing, etc. There is a risk of reducing the capacity of the State to intervene to accommodate these vulnerable households.