If you build them, they will come
- Creating more housing will worsen the situation for homeless
- Municipal revenues will not increase once the Tax d'Habitation is cancelled
- Our proposals for a more balanced housing policy
Lille, March 27th 2021 - On this day of European actions for the right to housing, Volt Lille would like to highlight the shortcomings of the city's housing policy and give positive ideas of giving shelter to homeless and making affordable housing a priority.
The gentrification of Lille
As the city keeps constructing new offices and appartments at a breakneck pace, one could ask why our municipality doesn't make housing the inhabitants with the biggest need a priority. Attracting new companies and new citizens will only worsen a situation already dire for the homeless, students looking for affordable housing and applicants for social housing. The private sector will build for rentability - it is the public sector which should ensure, that everyones' needs are adequately taken into account. 3 000 homeless, 16 000 pending applications for social housing back in 2018 and 22 places for 100 students looking for accommodation compared to 39 across France - the indicators of a housing policy in Lille neither social nor solidary.
The municipal budget built on sand?
Let's not forget that the government will soon cancel the "taxe d'habitation". Once this is the case, municipalities will become partially dependent on compensatory contributions from the state - these will be calculated with a correction coefficient that will be determined in 2021 with reference values of the "taxe d'habitation" taken from 2017 and 2020. This coefficient will be not change - so no matter how many new high quality appartments will be built in Lille, the municipal revenues will not increase. With working from home becoming a new normal due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, the perspectives of office real estate are also looking as bleak as a Lille winter day. Time for a change of priorities in Lille?
Sven Franck, responsible for Volt Lille : “As the city is gathering the courage to establish a permanent pedestrian zone on the Grande Place, it also opens the possibility to use the underground parking as an emergency shelter for homeless people as it's being done in Australia. There are also best practices much closer, like the Empty Dwelling Management Order in the UK which allows municipalities to manage and rent out vacant buildings on behalf of homeowners - maybe an idea for the 5.000 to 8.000 vacant appartments in Lillle. Finally, with "Utopia" being the theme of next years Lille3000 festival, we can certainly dream of Lille making social housing a priority like Vienna - owner of 200.000 social housing appartments and manager of 250.000 additional one, thereby allowing rents of about 6€/sqm for half of its population.
Sven FRANCK - Responsible Volt Lille / Member of the board o Volt France
Mail : sven.franck /@/ volteuropa.org
Volt France est le chapitre français de Volt Europa - mouvement citoyen paneuropéen fondé en 2017 qui a pour but d’améliorer la participation citoyenne dans la politique. Avec un élu au parlement européen, trois sièges au parlement néerlandais et une présence dans 30 pays - dont 15 constituant des partis politiques, Volt fait la politique autrement - plus participative, plus progressive et en dépassant les frontières.