- Posted July 10, 2014 by
Building and housing shortage in France
There is no denying fact that France currently faces an urgent building and housing shortage.
Looking back, the French first Consensus Conference on homelessness was held in Paris in November 2007, following the housing and homelessness’ appearance in French headlines between 2005 and 2008 and a number of events.
Currently, building and housing shortage has become a social issue that needs to be solved. The home construction fails despite President Francois Hollande’s promise to build 500,000 new homes per year. The situation became worse in May 2012. According to official figures, the starting of housing projects fell in May to the lowest level since 1998. In the same year, the country reached an unprecedented housing crisis, with a lack of roughly 900,000 accommodations in the publicly-managed social housing rented sector. Also, approximately 3.6 million people lived in inadequate or substandard housing, reported the Fondation Abbé Pierre, one of France’s leading charitable organizations whose target is to improve housing conditions for the poor. And despite the government’s effort to build housing in 2013 to meet the urgent demand for affordable and decent accommodation, only 330,000 housing situations started were achieved whereas the goal was 500,000.
The slump considerably affects France’s overall economic activity and could prevent growth from reaching the government’s objective of 1.0 percent this year.
Being aware of the problem becoming more and more serious and that new housing should be significantly increased in order to meet current and future housing needs, the French government announced some solutions. Prominent among these was its promise, as recently as last Wednesday, to cut red tape holding back housing investments and facilitate conditions for interest-free loans in order to stop a decrease in home building. To simplify building regulations, Manuel Valls, French Prime Minister, said the government has planned In addition to government plans to sell off more public land, it will also offer tax breaks for landlords who accept rent limits and ease conditions for zero-interest loans and will take into consideration the need for ease bike storage and parking spaces.
Valls added to Le Parisien newspaper, “We need to act, and act quickly.” Moreover, he mentions that the top priority is to continue offering interest-free loan plans for first-time buyers with low incomes, which are currently due to be stopped at the end of the year.
In addition, Pinel said the Socialist government would also follow plans for rent limits in tight local markets under a new law. As for Francois Payelle, president of the French property developer’s federation, it was stated that they welcomed plans to extend tax breaks for landlords who limit rent rises. All of this shows that many things still need to be done to solve the problem.