The executive had threatened the social partners to legislate by ordinance on the overhaul of the former 1% Housing, even before the start of discussions. Faced with an outcry, he calms the game. The Minister of Housing, Emmanuelle Wargon, announced Friday evening to the deputies that the government wanted “to leave time for consultation”.
The executive threatened the social partners to pass in force on the reform of Action Logement. An amendment to the finance bill for 2021 was to empower it to legislate by ordinance in this case. This was confirmed to employers and unions on Thursday, during the first meeting on the future of the joint body with the Minister for Housing, Emmanuelle Wargon, that of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, and the Minister of Public Accounts, Olivier Dussopt.
But Friday evening, during the discussion of the finance bill, Emmanuelle Wargon, heard in the National Assembly, finally indicated that “The government will not table an amendment” and that he intends to leave “Time for consultation”.
A few months ago, the former 1% Housing was the subject of a severe report by the General Inspectorate of Finance (IGF). Since then, the government has decided to transform it in order, he explains, to improve the effectiveness of its action and review its governance. “Complex, expensive and not very transparent”.
The social partners accepted the principle of a reform of the Peec collector (1.7 billion euros last year), the participation of employers in the effort to build social and intermediate housing, paid for by all companies with more than 50 employees. But Thursday, they rebelled to be put under pressure, even before the start of discussions.
Reform of Action Logement: the “rant” letter from the social partners to Jean Castex
The executive has decided to calm things down in this sensitive issue, which raises concerns within the HLM world as among elected officials. Especially since Bercy has also decided to take 1 billion from the cash flow of the former 1% Housing in order to complete its budget for 2021. “We remain firmly committed to the outcome of this reform”, however insisted Emmanuelle Wargon.
“An excellent thing”
“I am delighted that the social partners have been heard”, Force Ouvrière secretary general Yves Veyrier told “Echos” after this change of heart. He sees “The fruit of the letter addressed to the Prime Minister [fin septembre, NDLR] by the five confederations, which called for giving full place to social dialogue ”.“There is work to be done on the subject, all the more so in times of crisis, to direct the Housing Action funds more effectively. “
“This is an excellent thing”, declares Laurent Berger, number one of the CFDT. Adding that this one “Is open to consultation so that Action Logement is more at the service of workers’ housing and participates in social housing, but we did not want to discuss under the pressure of an ordinance which gave all the powers to the government”.
Medef number two, Patrick Martin, greets the “Gesture of appeasement while this issue was engaged on unnecessarily controversial and biased bases”. He is pointing out that “This does not take anything away, on the contrary, from the determination [de l’organisation patronale] further optimize the performance and governance of Action Logement ”.
New general manager
Discussions will therefore be able to resume more calmly. For Emmanuelle Wargon, it is a question of not compromising the action of the organization, which contributes to the financing of whole sections of the housing policy – such as the renovation of sensitive urban areas, the revitalization of the center of medium-sized towns or the fight against undignified habitat. As for a reform of the Peec, which focuses the attention of the Ministry of the Economy, “There is absolutely nothing decided, we are awaiting discussions with the social partners”, Emmanuelle Wargon repeated several times, while the reduction in this contribution had been mentioned. For her, the challenge is rather to ensure that this money remains entirely dedicated to housing, which is not necessarily the line defended by Bercy.
The reform of Action Logement will take place
Budget 2021: consultation launched on zero-interest loan and rental investment
It is in this context that Action Logement must in principle acquire a new general manager on Monday. After several months of blockage, the group’s board of directors must approve the appointment of Nadia Bouyer to succeed Bruno Arbouet, at the helm since March 2015. Until now, she held the position of CEO of Sequens, a subsidiary in the Ile-de-France region. Housing Action. Passed by the Court of Auditors, she was also in charge of mission in the office of the former Prime Minister François Fillon, and chief of staff of the former Secretary of State for Housing Benoist Apparu.