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Quotas in HLM, subsidized loans... These avenues to simplify civil servants' access to housing

“I have been in prison twice.

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Quotas in HLM, subsidized loans... These avenues to simplify civil servants' access to housing

“I have been in prison twice. During the day, when I work. In the evening, when I go home,” laments a guard at the Santé prison in Paris. Anne-Marie, a library curator, was forced to “live for two years with [her] brother on the sofa”. Like them, many civil servants denounce the difficulties of accessing decent housing, particularly around large metropolises where the cost of real estate is high, including in Île-de-France.

To put an end to this situation, the government launched several initiatives last year, including the creation of an Interministerial Committee for the Housing of Public Employees (Cilap). This organization responsible for providing solutions met for the third time at the Bordeaux hospital center this Wednesday afternoon. During this meeting, Renaissance MP David Amiel, who had been charged in November with a mission on the housing of public employees, presented his conclusions to Ministers Stanislas Guerini (Public Service) and Guillaume Kasbarian (Housing).

In his report, the elected official warns of the “unbearable” situation of public officials. He proposes several avenues to the executive, including the establishment of reservation quotas for social and intermediate housing for public officials. “Within the social housing stock, the 5% share of housing intended for civil and military agents of the State can, without delay, be used much better, provided that we change our approach and start from the real needs of the agents, from the identification of programs to the allocation of housing,” notes the report.

Also read: “Civil servants: let’s stop the policy of checks and hiring!”

Among other solutions, David Amiel notably puts forward the extension of the Visale guarantee (free deposit) to certain civil servants over 30 years old. He also advises “multiplying partnerships between public employers and landlords to direct a certain number of intermediate housing units to public agents” as well as “directing housing under real and joint leases to public agents through early information”. As such, the MP envisages “a simplification of numerous legislative measures” to “avoid unnecessary waste of time”.

It also highlights the proposal to create a public sector Housing Action. On the financial side, “a review of the social and tax framework for subsidized loans by employers” would “make them more attractive”. On the real estate front, the MP finally proposes “launching a residence construction program, making it possible in particular to temporarily accommodate newly transferred public officials in tense areas”.

In reality, it has been several months since the government launched measures for civil servants, such as the creation of a residence allowance for thousands of public officials working near the Swiss border, studies to build new housing reserved for civil servants on land belonging to the State or the launch of a real estate advertisement site for agents. “Housing represents nearly 20% of the French budget today,” the government calculated in July when Cilap was created. However, the value of the index point, which is used to calculate the treatment (basic salary) of civil servants, was almost frozen between 2010 and 2022.

It is for this reason in particular that, in mid-December, the FGF-FO (2nd union) suspended its participation in meetings with the administration and the government, dissatisfied with their salary policy. “There is an urgent need to put in place a real global housing policy improving access to private, intermediate and social rental, housing allocation systems, the supply of housing (...) accessible to all agents and residence allowance,” the union then underlined in a press release.

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