Housing our seniors: real estate facing an essential challenge

Housing for seniors is a central subject for years to come (Photo credits: Adobe Stock – )

The aging of the population is accelerating in France, making home care and home improvement for the elderly a major challenge for public authorities. Will the new system put in place “MaPrimeAdapt’” be enough to sufficiently accelerate the adaptation of the private sector?

An aging population

Observers have been predicting this for years and it is happening: the French population is in the middle of a “grandpa boom” with the arrival of post-baby boom children into old age. War.

In 2023, one in 5 people is already 65 years old or over and one in 10 people is 75 years old or over.

By 2050 (in other words tomorrow), 35% of French people will be over 60 years old (1) and the phenomenon will increase with life expectancies reaching records: INSEE announces that in 2023, the life expectancy at birth rises to 85.7 years for women and reaches 80 years for men, which has never happened until now, an increase of 0.6 years for women and 0 .7 years for men compared to 2022 figures (2).

However, among these grandpa boomers, many want to stay at home as long as possible, by personal choice but also because the number of places available in suitable establishments is far from being sufficient.

What impact on real estate?

It may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but this massive aging of the French population has a direct impact on the real estate sector through the issue of “aging well at home”.

Indeed, the real estate market must face two major challenges:

  • Transform existing housing to meet the specific needs of seniors and allow them to stay in their home as long as possible.

  • Develop new real estate projects specifically designed for seniors, such as serviced residences for seniors or accommodation establishments for dependent elderly people (EHPAD).

Concerning the adaptation of existing housing, the figures are far from meeting the challenges since for the moment only 6% of housing has been adapted and there are around 10,000 fatal falls per year (3).

Remove as many carpets as possible, install automated lighting, a stair lift, replace your bathtub with a suitable shower, etc. There are many arrangements and works that can be carried out to allow a person losing their autonomy to stay at home with as much security as possible.

How do public authorities respond to these issues?

In order to encourage the French to carry out the necessary renovation work in their homes and, what is more, to take the reflex to carry them out as prevention, without waiting for the loss of autonomy to occur, the public authorities are launching new aid in 2024 , unique and simplified, intended for owner-occupiers or tenants of private property.

Called “MaPrimeAdapt’”, it is supposed to accelerate the adaptation of the private stock, with a target of 680,000 adapted housing units over 10 years. The system is open subject to resource conditions:

  • To all people who are 70 years old or older,

    regardless of their level of dependence or autonomy.

  • To people who are between 60 and 69 years old

    and are experiencing early loss of autonomy (GIR 1 to 6).

  • To people with disabilities regardless of age,

    justifying a level of incapacity greater than or equal to 50% or eligible for the disability compensation benefit (PCH). In the latter case, MaPrimeAdapt’ will be combined with the PCH housing development.

In addition, in order to reinforce the effectiveness of the work financed, the MaPrimeAdapt’ course must be carried out with support called project management assistance (AMO).

The project management assistant supports the individual at each stage, from the home diagnosis to list the relevant work to the reception of the work, including advice in the choice of quotes from craftsmen and the preparation of the subsidy file.

The future will tell whether the MaPrimeAdapt’ aid system is sufficient to meet the challenge of adapting housing and maintaining a home, in the face of the silver wave sweeping across France.

(1) “Succeeding in the challenge of adapting housing to loss of autonomy”, Anah, November 2023.

(2) “Spectacular drop in births, increasing life expectancy: the 2023 demographic assessment in 5 data”, Figaro, 01/16/2024.

(3) “Succeeding in the challenge of adapting housing to loss of autonomy”, Anah, November 2023.


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* Meilleurtaux/Squirrel at work study – January 2022. Ranked the cheapest bank for personal loans in 2021. This study includes 4 main categories of personal loans offered by credit institutions, namely: new vehicles; used vehicles: home improvement work
and various personal loans (travel, weddings, etc.). See study and details of the article.

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