Because housing is a fundamental right, the State has long since created a housing stock dedicated to the less well-off citizens. These are low-rent housing, called HLM.
According to figures from the Social Union for Housing, there were 4.7 million of these dwellings on the national market in 2019, housing around 10 million people, or 15% of French households. However, getting a roof over the head is far from easy.
Access to this type of rental is subject to resource ceilings varying according to the composition of the household, but also to the category of the dwelling. There are four categories of HLM, from very social housing to intermediate housing. It is the loans and subsidies granted to organizations during their construction that determine their classification. People in a very precarious situation are referred to the PLAI (rental loan with integration assistance), while the PLUS (rental loan for social use) correspond to traditional HLMs. The PLS (social rental loan) and PLI (intermediate rental loan) are granted to families whose income is too high to access ordinary social housing.
In 2020, a couple with a child and making a request in the region must, for example, display a reference tax income of less than 20,110 euros to access housing in PLAI, against 33,516 euros for a PLUS and 43,571 for a PLS. As for the PLI, it is even more complicated since the applicable resource ceiling depends on the location of the property (zones A, A bis, B1, B2 or C) and on the date of the HLM financing operation. Please note: the municipalities of Ile-de-France obey specific raised ceilings. Count from 28,218 to 61,140 euros in our example.
If you think you can benefit from social housing, know that you can submit an application by department, choosing eight municipalities maximum in this territory. Why such a wide range of locations? To maximize your chances of getting a roof as soon as possible. Depending on the local HLM offer and the size of the demand, it is not uncommon to have to wait several months, or even several years to get this sesame.
To simplify the management of your file, the Alur law of 2014 has set up a dedicated website: Request-logement-social.gouv.fr. This platform allows you to assess your chances by consulting the social housing offer in each municipality (number of allocations and pending), to check your eligibility and to create your online application file. And since September 2020, you can carry out these steps with your smartphone by taking a photo of your supporting documents. Please note: some departments still have a local registration system for HLM requests. The national site links to the necessary websites.
Please note that a telephone assistance number, 0 806 000 113 (non-surcharged number), is available. Similarly, the Social Union for Housing launched in September 2020 the information site Hlm-info.fr for the general public.
Knowing how to be patient
Once your HLM application has been accepted, it becomes available for consultation by social landlords, who will have to contact you when accommodation is available in the desired municipality. However, there are priority applicants and the wait can therefore be very long. If no home has been allocated to you in the year following the registration certificate of your file, you will have to renew your application, and so on, on an annual basis.
However, you can, without delay, assert your right to enforceable housing (Dalo) if you are poorly housed or homeless or have a disability. To do this, you must contact the Departmental Mediation Commission for a housing offer, the contact details of which can be found at the prefecture.