Rising construction costs weigh on the renovation of disadvantaged neighborhoods

Posted Sep 29, 2022, 11:31 AMUpdated Sep 29, 2022, 4:46 PM

The budgets of the National Agency for Urban Renewal (Anru), “arrested three or four years ago, no longer hold up today with the rise in construction costs”, alerted Bruno Bernard, the environmentalist president of the metropolis of Lyon, on the occasion of the HLM congress which ends this Thursday.

“It will be a subject, confirms Stéphane Troussel, the PS president of the Departmental Council of Seine-Saint-Denis. When the projects are going to be implemented, the prices will be higher than what had been expected. The Anru, which intervenes in disadvantaged neighborhoods, will it index its subsidies [sur la hausse des devis] he wonders? While the price of certain materials has continued to soar under the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, then the war in Ukraine.

“Review clauses”

Bertrand Prade, general manager of Seine-Saint-Denis Habitat, the first social landlord in the department, indicates that review clauses have been provided for in a certain number of files. “But we don’t know what will be covered and how high. We have to meet again. »

“We have 11,000 operations validated by the commitment committee throughout the territory. We will take them one after the other. At this stage, there is no Anru inflation envelope”, indicated Catherine Vautrin, the new president of the agency – who succeeded to this post to the Minister of the City and Housing Olivier Klein.

“No magic piggy bank”

She points out that funding issues will also arise for local authorities – which may have to spread some of their expenditure over time. “The period is complicated. There is no magic piggy bank either at the Anru or elsewhere. Some projects are going to take longer,” she added.

It is not necessarily towards Action Logement – the main funder of urban renewal programs – that the State will be able to turn to obtain additional resources. For the time being, its leaders are furious with the “puncture” of 300 million euros decided by Bercy on the finances of the joint body, as part of its finance bill for 2023. A “puncture” that will limit its investment capacity. “If there is no money, there will be a small subject”, confirms Nadia Bouyer, its general manager.

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