Housing and employment, in today’s crisis, are closely related. There is an effective solution to the problems of housing access and talent recruitment and retention.
On Tuesday, October 17, at the recording of BFM Business, the Minister of Economy announced that he is giving himself 6 months to get a loan at a subsidized rate that makes sense, reminding along the way that the rates reach almost 4%. A positive signal that confirms that it is time for action.
In the context of inflation, access to property remains a safe haven that allows you to build some equity and prepare for your retirement years. It is not surprising 90% of French people want to become ownersfrom their main residence. We still need to give them funds. Rising interest rates and banks’ reluctance to release loans are holding back the real estate projects of our fellow citizens and delaying ownership of real estate indefinitely.
The result: lower purchasing power and a housing crisis that has a dangerous impact on the labor market. Tuesday, October 17, Bruno Le Maire timely reminded how employment and housing are connected. Full employment will remain an illusion if we cannot accommodate employees. A recent survey by the employment platform HelloWork reveals that, due to the lack of accommodation, more and more French people are turning down a job in another region every day.
Companies find it more and more difficult to recruit and retain talent. Gold, 78% of employees say that it would be easier to join an employer who would offer to help them become property owners (OpinionWay study for SOFIAP, June 2022). And 74% of young workers believe that their employer should help them become homeowners. In such conditions, we can assume that the subsidized loan for real estate represents a strong leverage of the company’s attractiveness among employees and future employees.
Subsidized credit, how does it work? It’s very simple: the employer covers all or part of the interest on the loan for the construction or purchase of new or old housing, usually lasting from five to twenty-five years. This generally represents tens of thousands of euros in savings for employees, which increases their purchasing power.
An innovative solution
How do you keep your wallet while fighting the real estate crisis? It is an understatement to say that the situation of our political friends is unpleasant. But in the current context, business-subsidized credit seems like a common-sense solution, a solution that comes at the right time to solve this difficult equation. Subsidized credit reaches a much wider audience than PTZ, even reformed and expanded. It is unconditional in terms of resources or geographical area and covers a wider range of real estate projects.
A political choice
However, this device remains little known. Discussions were held with Matignon, parliamentarians and senators to encourage more companies to offer this solution. But we need the help of public authorities. The payment of interest on a real estate loan by the employer should be exempt from social security and taxes. It’s not a gift. It’s an investment.
We presented this device to Matignon during an exchange on September 13, 2023. We proposed that it be included in an amendment to the bill on the financing of social security for 2024. It is concrete: a measure dedicated to the purchase of the main residence, without an upper limit of funds, complementary to the existing systems, which would allow 80,000 households access to property while strengthening the ties between businesses and their employees. An effective and innovative response to the housing and employment crisis, in short.