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Friday, December 8, 2023

Elisabeth Borne details her action plan

The number of households waiting for social housing (2.42 million) has never been higher and that of homeless people has climbed to 330,000. This shows that the announcements by Elisabeth Borne, head of government, on support measures for the real estate sector, were scrutinized.

Real estate: reservations for new housing continue to plummet

Without new affordable housing, we would miss the boat of reindustrialization and renewal of the territory “, underlined the Prime Minister, recognizing “ a difficult time for the sector “.

Double » by 2026 the construction of intermediate rental housing (LLI) at 30,000 units each year

After a detour to Montreuil-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais) to provide support to residents affected by the floods, the Prime Minister announced the commitment by the State and the Caisse des Dépôts of 500 million euros and counts on a similar commitment by institutional investors to “ double » by 2026 the construction of intermediate rental housing (LLI) at 30,000 units each year. The government wants to accelerate the production of this type of housing, at regulated rates but higher than for social housing.

For students, she promised the construction within three years of 35,000 additional housing units (in addition to the 35,000 student housing units already committed), the terms of which will be specified in a plan presented shortly by Ministers Patrice Vergriete (Housing) and Sylvie Retailleau (Higher Education).

Relaunch projects at half mast to produce social and intermediate housing

Discussions will also be initiated to launch a second plan to buy back housing from developers, to revive projects at half mast and produce social and intermediate housing, with lessors other than the Caisse des Dépôts and Action Logement.

Pascal Boulanger, president of the Federation of Real Estate Developers (FPI) estimated that this plan “ diminished the bad news » of the crisis, but it “ would prefer to do without it “. The proverb says: “ For lack of thrushes we eat blackbirds, we do it out of spite, we have no choice “.

The government wants to allow social landlords to have 20% of intermediate housing in their portfolio instead of the current 10%. The Ministry of Housing will also select at the start of next year 20 territories which will commit to “ accelerate » their development operations to bring out of the ground, within three years, around 1,500 housing units each, or 30,000 housing units in total. The communities concerned will be helped and exemptions made possible.

300,000 jobs threatened by the drop in production of new housing

The production of new housing fell sharply in 2023, caught between rising construction costs and the drop in purchasing power of buyers, deprived of easy access to credit. “ The figures for new real estate are catastrophic », also alerted Pascal Boulanger on Thursday, and certain promoters are starting to cut jobs. “ We are losing employees and we are losing know-how », he was alarmed during a press conference. “ I hear about the beginnings of PSE (job protection plans, Editor’s note) “, he warned, adding that “ no one replaces departures anymore ” retired. He did not name the developers concerned, nor give figures for jobs lost, but recalled that according to estimates from employers’ organizations, 300,000 jobs were threatened by 2025 – half in the construction trades, half in related professions (developers, architects, insurers, etc.).

Sales of new homes fell by 48.6% in the third quarter, according to the FPI observatory. ” VSis the worst quarter since the creation of the observatory », lamented the general delegate of the FPI, Didier Bellier-Ganière. If the current trend continues, the number of reservations in 2023 should be around 90,000, compared to around 160,000 for a “normal” year, he added. The average price of a new apartment put up for sale remains around 5,000 euros per square meter, but this figure is less significant than before because developers now accept negotiations to sell their stock, explained Pascal Boulanger.

Promote long-term rentals

A mission on rental taxation is also entrusted to two deputies, Annaïg Le Meur and Marina Ferrari, “to encourage long-term rentals”while second homes limit access to housing for certain residents.

The draft budget for 2024 will not be enough to stem the housing crisis, Horizons MP François Jolivet warned in a report published Monday. “ There is no magic measure », had warned the head of government at the beginning of June, presenting essentially technical measures (extension and refocusing of the zero-rate loan known as PTZ, rental aid but end of the Pinel tax exemption system) which had disappointed players in the sector. Two pieces of legislation have since been in the pipeline: one against substandard housing to renovate in particular degraded condominiums, which must be presented at the end of the year, and the other on the decentralization of housing policy, planned for spring.

Put resources » on social housing

The Minister of Housing promises to “ put resources » on social housing, despite the increase in land prices. In addition to a budgetary extension of 1.2 billion euros to renovate HLM, it is banking on territorialized conventions which set objectives by territory. The second was signed Thursday in Dunkirkafter Dijon on November 9.

The Prime Minister visited and then welcomed the conversion into housing of a former industrial wasteland, which will thus contribute to the densification of the city and the ecological transition. “ To get out of the housing crisis “, “rto succeed in the city of tomorrow and carry out the ecological transition, we must (…) have a global and unifying vision, not pit urban against rural, construction against ecological issues, young people against the elderly “, she stressed.

(With AFP)