ASPIM signs the "Rebuilding the city of tomorrow" manifesto

ASPIM is proud to announce the signing of the "Rebuilding the city of tomorrow" manifesto on 15 June 2022 with the professionals of the real estate, construction and manufacturing sectors of the city (Afilog, CNCC, FEI, FFB, FPI and IFPimm) in order to propose a proactive approach to meet French people’s real estate needs.

Act fast, simplify standards and procedures, adapt existing rules: a manifesto for desirable, sustainable and affordable real estate

Building, renovating and rethinking the buildings that constitute daily life in France is at the heart of the concerns of the various construction and real estate sectors.
Meeting real estate needs is a social, environmental and economic priority.
Providing solutions means generating satisfaction and well-being for users, favouring sustainable innovation and stimulating growth.
Seven federations and associations that are active players in the real estate sector are putting forward an innovative approach in order to place the city’s real estate and manufacturing at the heart of the debate and of public action in this new term of office that is beginning.

This manifesto reflects the mobilisation of an entire ecosystem consisting of professionals whose function is to meet the varied needs of local users (inhabitants of all generations, employees, craftsmen, merchants, industrialists, tourists, etc.) through the renovation and construction of housing, managed residences, shops, offices, factories, workshops and warehouses suited to their goals, their aspirations and their constraints, while offering environmental resilience to the highest standards, favouring a new mix of uses and supporting economic land use.

In order to be able to meet all the needs of today and tomorrow, the real estate sector recommends, through this manifesto, a proactive approach combining three basic principles for action: act in the short term, simplify at all levels and adapt existing rules with the objective of accelerating and increasing renovation and real estate production.

Act fast

For these signatories, the observation is stark: changes in uses, lifestyles and working methods, technological developments and the stakes involved in economic lad use require fast action. The challenge is daunting, so there is an urgent need to act.

Indeed, the latency of real estate is a reality, so the impetus of the State and the measures to revive real estate, in particular by simplifying and adapting existing rules, must therefore take place quickly in order to produce tangible effects in the medium term.

In the spirit of the successful mobilisation of the public authorities for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame1 or the preparation of the Olympic Games in 20242, it seems necessary for similar measures to be taken from the outset of the five-year period to respond to this urgency and endorse an ambitious vision
with the aim of accelerated implementation.

In addition, to complement these initiatives, the sector proposes to implement, beyond these initial measures, experiments, or even temporary arrangements, to speed up the renovation and production of the necessary real estate while optimising the cost/benefit ratio for all.

Simplify, at all levels

The complexity of the real estate sector, the ever-increasing number of standards and the various levels of public decision-making are holding back the necessary adaptation of the real estate portfolio to French people’s needs.
Two simple but preliminary initiatives would help improve this situation.

On the one hand, the industry recommends a moratorium on the creation of new standards and procedures. Users, professionals and local authorities must first focus on fully integrating and implementing the most recent reforms (the Elan Law, the Climate and Resilience Law, etc.), without them being reinterpreted or over-transposed.

On the other hand, the signatories reaffirm the need for the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion to address the challenges of and provide political support for sustainable construction, regional development and, more broadly, real estate, to ensure the necessary impulsion of a coordinated and ambitious public action.

This impetus must also result in a new dynamic that strengthens coordination among the various public decision-makers, both at the local level, in particular between the municipal urban planning services and the prefectures, and among the various State departments themselves.

Adapt existing rules with the aim of accelerating and boosting renovation and production

Numerous legislative and regulatory provisions exist and are intended to meet the real estate needs of French people (the SRU law, the Action Coeur de Ville programme, the national urban renewal programme, transformation of offices into housing, brownlands recycling funds, etc.). The eight federations and associations signing this manifesto propose, in consultation with all stakeholders, a principle of adaptation, at the margins, of some of these existing provisions in order to make them more effective in speeding up both the renovation and production of properties and the creation of new neighbourhoods.

Several signatory federations and associations have already made proposals on their own behalf in this regard in recent months.

For example, it may be appropriate to temporarily include the creation of intermediate rental housing (LLI) and housing under the Pinel buy-to-let tax-advantageous scheme in the 25% of local housing stock that Article 55 of the SRU Law currently requires selected municipalities to devote to social housing. This measure is likely to create a shock in the supply of affordable rental housing, especially as its financing is available through the investment of individuals and the involvement of institutional investors, directly or via dedicated vehicles (SCPI, OPCI, etc.).

Other sectors could also be boosted by adapting existing rules. Regulatory adjustments could thus speed up the creation of industrial and logistics premises to contribute to the objective of France’s reindustrialisation. The same applies to commercial real estate, with a particular focus on out-of-town areas and amenities for outskirts that could thus be reinvented and include mixed-use premises (housing, public services, health, education, etc.) that are economical in land use and contribute to the mix of use sought by households and businesses. This same adaptation approach would be relevant for the transformation of offices or hotels into housing.

In all these areas, household savings, institutional investment capacity and the banking system can be mobilised to support this construction of a more desirable, sustainable and affordable city.

To five tangible expression to this proactive approach of accelerating and boosting renovation and construction of housing, offices, logistics warehouses and shops, and to respond to the challenges of the ecological transition, the various actors of the real estate, construction and manufacturing sectors of the city, are therefore at the disposal of the public authorities in order to open up, from the start of this new term of office, discussions on the urgent implementation of the principles of this manifesto.

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