Housing: Borne details a plan without surprise, disappointment or even anger from professionals

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, in Laval in western France, June 1, 2023 (AFP/Archives/JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER)

“There is no magic measure”: Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne detailed Monday the executive’s plan to try to stem the housing crisis, without meeting the expectations of players in the sector, who say they are “disappointed ” even ” angry “.

Extension but strong restriction of the zero-rate loan (PTZ), end of the Pinel rental investment scheme, rental aid and support for construction via the purchase of housing from developers by Action Logement and the Caisse des dépôts…

The head of government outlined the arbitrations of the executive before the working groups of the National Council for Refoundation (CNR) meeting at the Maison de l’architecture in Paris.

But, she warned, “there is no magic, one and only, measure that would unblock the situation”.

Elisabeth Borne also proposes to “work on the use of the right of pre-emption by communities” to curb land speculation.

She also asks the ministers to “study” the overhaul of the taxation of rentals, in particular furnished tourist accommodation accused of aggravating the housing crisis everywhere in France. A project which must lead “in the next finance bill”.

These measures, from the “housing” section of the CNR, were supposed to mark “a new method of consultation” wanted by Emmanuel Macron to recreate a link “between fellow citizens and political decision-making”. In total, some 200 people worked on the subject for six months.

“This CNR housing is above all not an outcome”, declared a little earlier the Minister Delegate for Housing, Olivier Klein, in front of a circumspect public.

“There is nothing game-changing in this plan, which is minimalist, imprecise. There is not this kick that allows us to go up to the top of the pool”, underlined Véronique Bédague, CEO of Nexity, the leading real estate developer and co-host of the CNR.

“I believe that we were unanimous on our findings and I fear that we are also unanimous in our disappointment with the conclusions”, added Emmanuelle Cosse, president of the Social Union for Habitat, which represents donors. social.

– “State disengagement” –

Olivier Klein had conceded in the morning that there was “a risk of a social bomb” linked to the violent crisis in the sector, while new construction is in free fall, rental seized up and poor housing affects nearly 4 .1 million people.

In addition, the number of households applying for social housing (2.42 million) has never been so high and the number of homeless people has climbed (to 330,000).

The government plan had five objectives: promote access to property and rental, support the production and renovation of social housing, relaunch construction and increase the energy renovation of the private sector.

However, the provisions unveiled do not include any shock measure such as the control of land prices, one of the strong proposals from the CNR.

Even before Elisabeth Borne spoke, the housing world had not hidden its disappointment.

HLMs in Thiais, in the suburbs of Paris, in January 2023

HLM in Thiais, in the suburbs of Paris, in January 2023 (AFP / Geoffroy Van der Hasselt)

The announcements “arouse the anger of professionals. Two hundred people involved and seven months of work reduced to nothing? There is no longer a housing policy”, attacked seven employers’ organizations, including the Real Estate Federation (Fnaim) , the French Building Federation (FFB) and the Pôle Habitat, in a press release entitled “a whole sector despised”.

“As it stands, this plan is not likely to respond to the immense concerns, the challenges that are before us,” reacted the director general of the Abbé Pierre Foundation, Christophe Robert, also co-host of the CNR.

For Pascal Boulanger, president of the Federation of real estate developers (FPI), “there is no incentive for mayor builders, there is no status of the private lessor, we plan the stop of Pinel then that we need it”.

“The announcements of the CNR housing actually hide the continuation of the disengagement of the State started in 2017”, accused for their part the deputies LFI.

© 2023 AFP

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