What will change the housing bill for HLM tenants who are too rich?

Housing is experiencing a historic crisis and the government is promising a “supply shock” to the French. Build more and faster, especially for the middle classes who are too rich to live in public housing and not enough for private housing. The Minister of Housing, who is presenting his proposal to the Council of Ministers this Friday, is therefore planning to reform the Act on SRU (Solidarity and Urban Renewal). In force since 2000, in particular, it plans to introduce a quota of 25% of social housing for mayors. Unthinkable for some elected officials who prefer a fine to building more HLM.

To remedy this, Guillaume Kasbarian, the Minister of Housing, plans to relax the SRU law: remote municipalities could, if the law is passed, integrate transitional housing – intended for the middle classes – into part of their production. catch up. The minister assures opposition associations and elected representatives that he “does not affect any mechanism of the SRU Act”. The 25% HLM target remains, as do the penalties. The future law will give mayors the option to include up to 25% of temporary housing in the goals of new construction.

This pragmatic solution makes it possible to improve the SRU law, which is struggling with dysfunctionality, especially when it comes to fines that prove to be ineffective.», rejoices Bastien Marchive, representative of the Renaissance-affiliated Radical Party, from Deux-Sèvres (79), who suggests “develop blended programs’ (private, secondary and HLM housing). On the contrary, “this draft law weakens the SRU Act and thereby the construction of social housingaccording to the Social Union for Housing, the Abbé Pierre Foundation and the Federation of Solidarity Actors. Favoring luxury transitional housing at barely below market rents is a profound mistake.»

Another dysfunction? “Too rich” tenants who stay in their HLM. The Minister estimates them at 400,000, the Social Union for Housing, which represents almost 600 HLM operators, estimates them at around 90,000. Why this gap? Because currently the law states that a tenant is outlawed once their income exceeds a set maximum limit of 20%. In this case, they have to pay additional rent. Guillaume Kasbarian plans to apply this penalty from the first extra euro. Furthermore, if the ceiling is exceeded by 20% – compared to the current 50% – for two consecutive years, the social landlord must terminate the lease to the tenant, who will have 18 months to leave. These provisions do not apply to persons over 65 years of age or persons with disabilities.

Social landlords love tenants who have money, jobs and no children because they don’t cause problems and pay the rent.

Is the law being followed in practice? “Social landlords love tenants who have money, jobs and no kids because they don’t cause problems and pay the rentan elected official who served on the boards of HLM organizations is entrusted. They therefore have no interest in evicting them.» A thesis that could explain why only 8,000 tenants a year are ordered to leave their accommodation, according to USH. Added to this are 80,000 people who pay additional rent. “Everyone needs to take responsibility, including landlords who are funded by our taxesinsists Bastien Marchive, former ZAN (Zero net artificialization) law rapporteur. It is not up to the French to finance HLM for the richest 40% of households. We need to make the right homes available to the right people.»

To strengthen controls, tax authorities will be able to signal to landlords that a tenant has other “equivalent” accommodation – a term that needs to be specified – thanks to the well-known “Manage my real estate” system, which was so talked about last summer. by decree – which can be a second home, rental investment or vacant accommodation. In such a case, the lease can also be terminated for a maximum of 18 months, if the tenant is not over 65 years old or is not a person with a disability. In addition, the law also authorizes mayors to “prioritize residents who enter social housing“. The structure of the attribution committee he may chair will remain the same, but the elected official will have “veto power» about the conditions of assignment. “We need to take back control and make mayors accountableasks Bastien Marchive. It is normal for them to have veto power on the first assignment, for example to combat the phenomenon of communitarianism..”

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