What is this “housing shield” offered by Anne Hidalgo?

Chesnot / Contributor via Getty Images We know a little more about Anne Hidalgo’s project. The socialist candidate, whose campaign is struggling to take off, unveiled this Thursday 10 January 102 proposals to “bring together France “. Among the main axes of its program: housing. The elected Parisian wants to “allow everyone to have good housing at an affordable price”. To do this, she intends to relaunch the construction of social housing, the production of which would be increased to 150.000 housing units per year, but also to generalize rent controls in all the tense areas of the territory. Above all, Anne Hidalgo wants to ensure that rents weigh less on family budgets.If elected, she undertakes to establish a “housing shield”, so that no French person spends more than a third of their income on housing.

The housing weighs up to ‘at 40% of tenant expenses

It is difficult to know the exact weight of housing in the total expenditure of the French, many oops of contradictory studies. But a consensus is emerging: it is housing that weighs down the household budget, since it is by far their first constrained expense. According to

a recent study by France Strategy, an expertise and prospective analysis body attached to Matignon, housing (rents, charges, loan repayments) would represent up to 70% of pre-committed expenses, i.e. expenses committed by contract and difficult to negotiate in the short term. But with significant disparities depending on the status of occupation. According to this same study, housing expenses represent, for example, only 13% of total expenditure among poor households when they are non-homeowners (i.e. they have finished repaying their mortgage), but 30% of this expense when they are buyers, 39% when they are social housing tenants and up to 40% when they are park tenants private!

Aid for accommodation, led by APL, certainly contribute to lowering these rates of effort. But in the most tense areas, in Île-de-France and in large cities in particular, it often exceeds a third of income. For example, according to INSEE, in 2021, 102.000 households residents of the Ile-de-France region had a net effort rate (once housing aid had been deducted) greater than 33% for housing. APLs therefore do not solve everything…

Some studies even claim that they participate in the rent inflation.

Additional APL

It is however on the aid that the socialist candidate counts support to keep its promise, since it offers an additional housing allowance, paid subject to means to people whose rate of effort would be too high. A kind of complementary APL which would reduce the weight of housing in the household budget. But up to what rent and income threshold? “The precise modalities still have to be fixed, but it would be a question of modulating housing aid to all the people who would be forced to pay more than a third of their income for housing”, explains Nathalie Appéré, the socialist mayor of Rennes, who contributed to the development of Anne Hidalgo’s housing program.

No question for so much to reduce the housing shield (and the whole program) to this simple allowance. “This is not a single solution, but a set of measures to be implemented so that, at the end of the five-year term, no Frenchman will spend more than a third of their income on their housing. This requires activating all the other levers of the program: construction, energy renovation, etc. But also the development of all the systems that promote home ownership, such as the dissociation of land and buildings, via solidarity land offices and the real solidarity lease”, specifies Nathalie Appéré. In short, the supplementary allowance is only a parade, if all the other solutions fail to bring down the cost of housing. It remains to be seen how much the APL budget will explode…