Jean-Luc Boujon (correspondent in Lyon), edited by Romain Rouillard 06:26, March 24, 2023

To deal with the housing crisis in France, linked to administrative complications and the lack of available land, some municipalities have decided to raise existing housing in order to add a few floors. Illustration in Saint-Didier-au-Mont-d'Or, near Lyon.

Counteract the housing crisis without building new ones. This strange equation has indeed been solved in several municipalities of France. Particularly in Lyon where the metropolis has decided to launch a major program to raise apartment buildings. This is the case in Saint-Didier-au-Mont d'Or where the housing crisis, linked to administrative complications and the lack of available land, has been tackled head-on.

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In this town of 7,000 inhabitants, a low-rent housing from the 1960s was chosen to experiment with the project. "It is a two-storey building that is being profoundly transformed since we are adding two additional floors in wood construction," explains Arnaud Cécillon, director of Rhône-Saône Habitat. "We also enlarge it laterally to give it new access. Initially, we had 20 homes here. With the elevation, we arrive at 44 dwellings in the final project."

An "exceptional subsidy"

This solution was therefore chosen by the Métropole de Lyon in order to offer more available housing to residents. "Land is extremely difficult to find in Lyon," says its vice-president Renaud Payre in charge of housing. "And there are a lot of people waiting for housing. That is the reality of the housing crisis or, at least, a tension. Therefore, we have explored the possibility of elevation by paying an exceptional subsidy, which we will make systematic, for all donors who engage in elevation. Because we absolutely want to produce more housing."

In this way, 35 buildings will be raised, which will allow the creation of 250 social housing units as soon as possible.