“Government measures are not up to par” (D. Estrosi-Sassone)

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“The housing crisis looks set to worsen over the next two to three years. It is regrettable to state that the measures intended by the government do not correspond to the seriousness of the situation.regrets, in an exclusive interview with our partner News Tank Cities, Dominique Estrosi-Sassone, Senator (LR) Alpes-Maritimes.

The Senate rejected PLF 2024 housing loans. Can you explain the reasons?

Although some loans are increasing, the government does not seem to understand the full extent of the crisis. The perspectives offered by the authorities are not sufficient to address this worrying situation. For example, the abolition of Pinel could be acceptable if it was followed by measures to encourage individual rental investment.

The housing crisis requires an approach that is both cyclical and structural. Unfortunately, there is currently no indication that deep measures have been taken, be it land regulation or a rebalancing of the investment capacities of social landlords.

The housing crisis requires both a cyclical and a structural approach

It is imperative that the government fully realizes the urgency and seriousness of the current situation. The denial of credits for housing missions is an obvious signal of general dissatisfaction. We hope that this will prompt the government to carefully reconsider its positions at the second reading of the budget.

However, there seems to be no doubt as to the application of 49.3 to this subject. The adjustments made compared to the original measures (PLF) will thus remain relatively modest compared to what may have already been voted and implemented for 2024.

What elements should the housing law that the government plans to introduce in spring 2024 contain?

I sincerely hope that this new housing law will indeed meet these challenges. The Minister was very confident when he announced the timetable for April 2024, but at this point I have some reservations about the feasibility of that date.

I hope it will not be just a compilation of different measures, as the minister’s speech suggests when he discusses various topics related to housing.

From the allocation of social housing to the funding of social housing, including the general housing model, transitional rents and rent regulation, everything seems to be heading towards this future bill.

Do you think the government lacks reflection and innovation in its proposals?

The usual justifications, such as falling property prices allowing for natural market regulation or the conversion of empty offices into housing, seem inadequate given the complexity of the current crisis. Current measures aimed at building transitional housing and mobilizing existing vacant rental stock may provide some solutions, but they remain limited and targeted.

It is very important to consider disturbance measures, especially when it comes to soil, which is an often neglected aspect. The issue of land, especially in the implementation of ZAN, is indeed central to housing policy. While environmental protection is essential, it is equally important to recognize the need to mobilize land in a manner suitable for different housing needs.

It is very important to consider intrusive measures, especially in land related matters

Hoping that this vital housing law can really change our approach and respond to the urgency of the current crisis, especially by restoring a functional residential pathway in our country.

Does the state’s responsibility for housing and habitat therefore remain essential?

Housing is partly a sovereign policy and the state should not completely abdicate this responsibility.

Although the stages of decentralization have already taken place, especially in the direction of municipalities, it is necessary to secure additional resources, increase the qualifications of the authorities establishing housing and find financial resources enabling effective intervention, whether at the level of metropolises or departments.

We must therefore remain cautious about the directions this new housing law will take, hoping that it will thoroughly expose the causes and consequences of the housing crisis, take short-term measures, and at the same time engage in structural reforms. However, I have doubts about the political will and feasibility of these changes.

Could the information mission on the causes, consequences and solutions of the housing crisis, which you decided to launch on December 6, 2023, initiate these changes?

The President of the Senate sent me a letter in which he emphasized that the Economic Committee should deal with the housing crisis, to the exclusion of other related topics, such as energy renovation of housing. Our plan is therefore to explore how we can get out of this crisis in the short, medium and long term.

In anticipation of this mission, we organized a round table with all actors involved in the housing chain. Despite different political approaches, these actors unanimously noted the urgency of the situation, illustrated by the creation of the Housing Alliance. This proves the seriousness of the situation and the need for collective mobilization, even within the framework of different approaches.

What will be the next dates of this senatorial mission?

After this roundtable, I announced an information mission, a lightning mission aimed at presenting a report in mid-March. Our work will begin with the first hearing in December, followed by hearings until early March.

We will invite traditional housing experts and players as well as tax policy stakeholders such as the Banque de France. Notables including Véronique Bedenac, François Rebsamen and Benoit Appara.

Solving the issue of furnished tourist accommodation

He recently proposed several ways (new forms of credit, making investments in temporary rental housing available to individuals, creating an equity fund for advocates of truly disruptive and austerity measures for a more effective housing policy.

We will formulate proposals, some traditional aimed at strengthening or securing existing measures, others more innovative, especially in the field of land. We want to explore this often neglected topic. We will also deal with the connection between employment and housing, as well as the issue of furnished tourist accommodation, essential aspects of the housing crisis.

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