The Court of Auditors drew up on Wednesday an "encouraging" report on the payment of the "Habiter mieux" public aid, which has financed 240,000 housing energy renovations since 2010, and made recommendations to make it even more efficient.  Seized by the Senate Finance Committee in December 2016, the Court conducted a survey of the National Housing Agency (Anah), which has been managing the "Living Better" program since its inception in 2010, and scrutinized a little over a thousand cases.
The balance sheet of this premium paid to households, most of them modest homeowners, to help them renovate their homes – in addition to other assistance – is "encouraging", summed up Pascal Duchadeuil, President of the Fifth Chamber of the Court of Auditors in presenting the report, made public on Wednesday.
"It is not common that the Court", often very critical of the quality of the management of den public authorities, "should be given this type of assessment, especially in the field of housing policy", he pointed out.
If the system has "weaknesses", these can "be corrected," according to the Court, "to meet the new challenges to which" Live better "is now confronted": achieve the goal of 75,000 renovated homes per year, an increase of 50%, set by the government late November
Two of the three objectives set for the program were achieved: supporting the most disadvantaged, with very modest beneficiaries (83% of cases) and reducing the energy consumption of housing, with 43% energy gain in 2016 , much better than the 30% targeted.
Following a "prolonged heating period", in addition to the "financial gain on energy consumption", households note an "improvement of the general state of housing, a sanitation of housing, a diminutio n of the sensation of cold and an improvement of the health of the occupants ", notes the Court
-" Effective management "-
For the third objective on the other hand, to renovate the private housing stock," the balance sheet is Halftone ": on a 2010-2017 target of 300,000 homes," we exceeded 240,000 end of 2017, "said Mr. Duchadeuil.
The Court points above all a" lack of stability of resources and regulations " to "live better": the amount of its envelope, the National Fund for Thermal Renovation Assistance (FART), 500 million euros for 2010-2017, has been revised 10 times.
"This instability has not allowed the establishment of a sufficiently long-term support scheme to attract all the potential beneficiaries of these aids ", estimates the Court.
For their part, the amounts allocated have undergone five modifications in seven years, passing from 1,600 to 3,500 euros, to go down to 2,000 euros since 2016.
Highlighting the a "effective management" of a device "well evaluated and controlled" by Anah, the Court advocates a paperless management of files and a "simplification" of aid to finance work in installments – two developments in progress – to pass
For half of the working population and half of the pensioners, the beneficiaries are people with very modest incomes, housed in "old large, old houses", expensive to heat, who "impose "
The Court recommends to better accompany them, to" strengthen the link "between the levels of aid ceilings and their situation of fuel poverty, to implement multi-annual programming, to stabilize regulations and finally to "develop the partnership with local authorities".