Real estate in Charente-Maritime: “You don't have to be a social housing tenant to access real estate”

Real estate in Charente-Maritime: “You don’t have to be a social housing tenant to access real estate”

MDespite an economic context disrupted by the economic crisis, access to real estate remains popular among the French. According to the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, 57.2% of French people will own a house in 2023. In the La Rochelle region, social landlords have…

MDespite an economic context disrupted by the economic crisis, access to real estate remains popular among the French. According to the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, 57.2% of French people will own a house in 2023. In the La Rochelle region, social landlords offer programs to access real estate. “We have been selling about twenty homes from our old stock for about fifteen years. This will allow us to acquire equity and allow the residents of Rochelle to become owners,” argues Julie Chaumont, communications manager of the public housing agency (OPH) of the La Rochelle agglomeration.

An opening to the new

The OPH has been offering new homes for two years now. Last year, thirty-nine homes were sold in La Rochelle. An approach that is aimed at everyone. “You don’t have to be a tenant of social housing to become an owner of real estate,” emphasizes Julie Chaumont, because prejudices about social housing can be difficult to convince some starters. Naturally, this social access to property takes into account the ceilings of available resources.

The BRS system is popular

Real estate projects are taking shape through various schemes, the social rental loan (PSLA) and the real solidarity rent (BRS), which are increasingly emerging.

The PSLA is a two-phase ownership system: a leasing phase followed by an acquisition phase. Households subject to a resource ceiling thus become owners of their main residence, at a controlled price, with the status of tenant-buyer. “We have 90% access through the PSLA,” says Julie Chaumont, determined to change the image of social housing by explaining that certain systems can be accessible to non-tenants through social rental contracts. This is especially the case thanks to the BRS system. The latter decouples land and buildings to lower the price of housing. This concerns an above-ground accession, the buyers are not owners of the land.

Lower income limits

Since October 2023, a decree published in the Official Journal has redesigned the zoning of the agglomeration, placing La Rochelle, Aytré and Châtelaillon-Plage in so-called “hypertensive” zones. This new classification has reshuffled the resource ceiling cards, expanding the right to own property to certain people who previously could not. For example, the income ceilings in force since January 1, 2024 (based on the reference tax income N-2) to benefit from the PSLA and BRS systems are EUR 37,581 for a person in zone A and EUR 56,169 for two people in zone A.

The social landlord Habitat 17 develops programs in new construction through the BRS. “This system is being developed on the islands (Ré and Oléron) and the latter on Houmeau,” the communications department indicates. By May 2024, 14 new housing units should also be built in La Jarne through the OPH.

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