Housing takes priorty in Parliament

Members of the Conseil National discuss the subsidized housing law during the revised budget debate.

Major issues of Government policy have been relegated to the 2011 provisional budget debate as the Consel National tackle local housing. Legislation was introduced on 1st June 2009 to give Monegasques the opportunity to enter the Principality's expensive property market through subsidized housing contracts. During its first year 359 households have taken advantage of the low rates and a further 379 could soon be added to the figure. Although below Government forecasts, the scheme is considered to be a success, but National Council members would like to see even more Monegasques taking the first step on the property ladder. They believe that the minimum contribution of 15% is a stumbling block for many. For example it would mean that a family wishing to buy a new 3 or 4 roomed flat would have to put up between 60,000 and 100,000 euros. However the Government believes that there are other discouraging factors, such as the complex succession laws for step-families. The 15% threshold is not a legal requirement and may be reviewed if there is interest, however Minister of State Michel Roger warned that this would lead to higher repayments, which could have negative effects.

The question of the "intermediate" sector is also up for discussion. President of the Housing Commission Gerard Bertrand reminded the assembly of the difficulty of finding reasonable accommodation for enfants du pays. He called on the State to take back responsibility for social assistance which was effectively handed to owners of properties built before 1st September 1947. Bertrand is concerned that developers are buying up properties in the protected sector, leaving fewer and fewer low rental accommodation available. There is an intermediary sector pilot project currently operating in the Villa Ida, for which the Government says it's difficult to draw up legislation, although there should be a law proposition next year.

Conseil National : housing always on the agenda

Government housing : is entering the property market too expensive?