How Vitry-sur-Seine wants to streamline access to social housing

In the Ardoines district in Vitry-sur-Seine, the cranes are busy and the first real estate operations in this rapidly changing sector will be delivered next year. The city has negotiated 40% social housing there, but there won’t be enough for everyone. “75% of applicants meet the income criteria for the most modest housing, 25% do not have sufficient resources“, figure Luc Ladire, deputy mayor in charge of housing. Homeownership housing is also highly coveted. “Sector professionals told us that it was rare to see such enthusiasm during the sales agreement phase. But with rising interest rates, more and more households are being denied loans“, notes the mayor, Pierre Bell-Lloch (PCF). In this town located on the banks of the Seine, only about ten kilometers from the capital, the housing crisis is palpable.

In March 2022, the town hall of Vitry-sur-Seine organized a half-day forum on housing, which brought together nearly 500 people seeking information and advice, sometimes testifying to difficult situations (poor housing, unsanitary conditions, over-occupation, works, etc.). This year, the event will take place over a full day, this Saturday, March 18. On this occasion, the city will sign with five of its social landlords (Semise, Valdevy, Valophis, Batigère and Logirep) a charter intended to improve and streamline access to social housing.

The future Ardoines multimodal hub, which will notably house a Grand Paris Express metro station

Facilitate moves within social housing

We have many cases of older people living in oversized accommodation and wanting something smaller. Conversely, young people start families but cannot leave their parents’ home. However, there are not always the right incentives. If you are told to move from a T5 at 600 euros to a T3 at the same rent, it is normal that people do not move !”, recognizes the mayor. The challenge of the charter is to make financial ratios more flexible to encourage mobility and better adapt the size of housing to households. The municipality will also join “Echanger Habiter”, a regional platform for connecting social tenants, to facilitate housing exchanges. In fact, a third of Vitry-sur-Seine applicants already live in social housing.

Take into account the rest of life

The city would also like landlords not to limit themselves to a sole examination of the effort ratio (weight of housing expenditure in the household budget) but to weight it with the “still to live“. This would allow, for example, a single person with 20 euros per day to live, to exceed the usually fateful effort rate of 30% of income.

Housing for young people: a challenge

For the municipality, housing for young people remains a big challenge, even if it has set up a CLLAJ (local committee for independent housing for young people) which welcomes 18-30 year olds looking for housing. A device which nevertheless remains unknown. “While it takes an average of 5 to 6 years to obtain social housing, young Vitriots too often wait for their first job and income to open an application file. They should start when they turn 18 to save time!”, invites Luc Ladire. In this context, the city has decided to focus its housing forum on young people, this Saturday, March 18.

Hearing on April 13 at the Ministry of Housing

To develop more massively the supply of housing, the municipality believes that the State must intervene in a more incentive way, with the carrot and the stick. “Even today, too many cities do not play the game. The SRU law should be increased from 25 to 30% and the calculation should be removed from the constructions which, in our opinion, are not social housing, such as senior residences or housing students. Fines for those who break the law must be increased,” defends Pierre Bell-LLoch. Efforts cannot focus on the same ones all the time!”

The aedile also demands “the end of the government’s punctures on social housing, more aid for stone, means for the rehabilitation of thermal sieves“, but also the global supervision of rents, the generalization of the rental permit, the revival of the production of new social housing or even the strengthening of recourse to the enforceable right to housing (DALO).

Diligence that the mayor will be able to bring directly to the Minister of Housing, Olivier Klein, during a hearing scheduled for April 13. A meeting which will be preceded by a demonstration.

Read also: Rate of social housing by city: 22 mayors of Val-de-Marne consider the objectives untenable
And also: Abbé Pierre Foundation, Social Union for Housing and Association for Integration through Housing warn of the slowdown in the production of social housing in Ile-de-France