Social housing regulations by French municipal authorities

Updated on Wednesday 17 April 2019

Act of 18 January 2013 developed by Cécile Duflot strengthens provisions introduced by Article 55 of the Act of 13 December 2000 on solidarity and urban renewal (SRU).




This law specifies the concerned municipalities, the exempted municipalities and the housing categories used for counting social housing.

The platform provides access to data through compliance with the SRU obligations in terms of the production of social housing by municipality.

How many social homes per municipality?

Article 55 of the SRU law requires certain municipalities to have a minimum number of social housing proportional to their stock of main residences: 20 or 25%. The Act No. 2013-61 of 18 January 2013 on the mobilization of public land for housing and strengthening the social housing production obligations requires municipalities with over 3,500 inhabitants outside the Ile-de-France (and more than 1 500 inhabitants in the Ile-de-France) included in a metropolitan area or a public intermunicipal cooperation (EPCI) with fiscal over 50,000 including at least one municipality of over 15,000, having a total number of social housing units representing at least 25% of primary residences and enables a five-fold increase penalties.

To be noted:Rural communities are not affected. The goal is to impose the construction of social housing in municipalities located in tense areas.

The rate is maintained at 20% of social housing to municipalities, belonging to an agglomeration or an EPCI with their own tax whose situation of the existing housing stock does not justify an additional production effort. The list of settlements and EPCIs that are concerned is determined according to the number of requests for social housing compared to the number of annual moves, excluding internal transfers in the social rental stock. 

Municipalities with more than 15,000 inhabitants which do not belong to a settlement or an EPCI of more than 50,000 inhabitants comprising a municipality of 15,000 inhabitants, are also subject to the 20% rate.

Social housing is to be taken into account while calculating the 20 or 25% rates on the territory of the municipalities. The social housing rate is obtained by dividing the number of social housing listed by the number of main residences.

The law for access to housing and planning a renovation of 24 March 2014 (called ALUR Act) came strengthen penalties municipalities that do not meet their obligations in this field, notably with the possibility to increase the prefects up five times the initial removal of the municipalities that do not meet their three-year production targets of social housing.

To be part of the exempted municipalities, the municipality located in SRU territory must meet one of the following conditions:

  • be located in an agglomeration of more than 30,000 inhabitants whose demand for social housing is less than two (annual requests/allocations excluding internal transfers),
  • be located outside a settlement of more than 30,000 inhabitants and insufficiently connected by the public transport network, to the activity and employment areas,
  • have more than half of the urbanized territory subject to non-building (noise exposure plan, prevention plan for technological, natural or mining risks).

A decree establishes the list of exempted municipalities before the beginning of each triennium.