“We have lost 2,900 jobs in Hérault”: the cry of alarm from construction professionals

“We have lost 2,900 jobs in Hérault”: the cry of alarm from construction professionals

Les professionnels de l'acte de bâtir, présents à la soirée Midi Libre, ont fait part de leur préoccupation au regard du cotexte actuel, notamment dans la construction et l'immobilier. Midi Libre – MICHAEL ESDOURRUBAILH

Building business leaders fear the social consequences of the crisis on their activity. They are calling for help.

For professionals in the act of building, time is running out. The construction crisis, which underlies the housing crisis, requires rapid reactions, so as not to aggravate a situation that is already in bad shape. "You have specified, Mr. Minister, a possible deadline between now and next summer as a deadline for improving the situation remains insufficient", intervened Nicolas Gossart, who runs the company Bic Construction, in Béziers, specializing in individual houses. "Every week, I have 7 to 8 craftsmen who pass by, who come ask me for a job. This means less revenue for the State." The intervention illustrates the disarray in which construction professionals are plunged.< /p>

"No one denies the crisis"

"No one denies the crisis", replied the minister. Perhaps measures were taken to amplify the crisis. But I will not deny the cyclical aspect that we are targeting on demand either. The impact is not just Franco-French. All European housing ministers note a very strong crisis in demand, resulting from the rise in interest rates. If the Central Bank increased its interest rates it is because 18 months ago we were in a situation of very significant inflation and the central bank had decided to limit the rate of inflation. inflation to limit credit. To avoid galloping inflation. We cannot say that these decisions do not have an impact on demand, but it also has an impact on our neighbors", he said. then developed.

The concern is also raised by Olivier Coulom, president of Capeb Occitanie. It follows new announcements concerning the relaxed conditions for benefiting from MaPrimeRénov’, intended for the renovation of buildings. "What are the deadlines for implementing decrees ?", he asked. "We are already hearing 2025. Each month of delay is negative, while there is a shortage of 40,000 housing units per year in Occitanie. Renovation is a key sector of our construction business, energy renovation only affects 5% of our turnover."


Guillaume Kasbarian recalled that "on the question of renovation, we have an instrument called MaPrimeRénov’". "It’is,” he added, “one of the largest budgets in the Ministry of Housing. There is 700 million more than last year's budget." He continues: "We had a challenge with the Building Federation, Capeb and the craftsmen, which was to simplify MaPrimeRénov’. Simplification measures have been announced to facilitate access. In some departments, it may still be difficult to find approved escorts. We made the decision to accelerate the approval of the attendants. There will be 600 additional structures approved on the national territory by June. That should put a little oil in the wheels. We have also authorized the owners of housing classified F or G to carry out energy renovation work, the owners of houses to carry out this work, also those who have not yet carried out an DPE (energy performance diagnosis, Editor's note) . We are reopening MaPrimRénov’for simple renovation tasks. This will give craftsmen more customers who will have access to this device."

"Like the Olympic Games"

It responds to the concern about delays. "I hear the question about the timing, I am passing the circular this week to the prefects, I am signing the decree this week and you will see the change on the website of the l’ Anah (National Housing Agency, Editor’s note). Customers will be able to submit their quote within two months, that is to say by mid-May, on the MaPrimeRénov’ website. This is a reopening of the tap to achieve the ambitious renovation objective." The simplification measures announced by the minister will "probably also impact the cost of construction". He takes the example of litigation. "Part of the increase in certain projects comes from litigation, comes from the duration of procedures, which are added to the overall economic model of construction, he insists. We are working hard to release simplification measures as quickly as possible."

President of the Hérault Building Federation, Gilbert Comos, is concerned about the employment situation. "I represent a federation which, in the department, accounts for more than 26,600 jobs. Businesses are adapting, but we have lost 2,900 jobs in 2023. If nothing is done, in a very concrete way, we will lose between 3,000 and 5,000 more jobs. And this only in the department of Hérault", he warns. He insists: "The know-how is there. If nothing is done, we will lose this know-how. And to find them, it will take us decades."

And to ask the minister to "make our department a project territory, as was done during the Olympic Games, so that we can have exemptions, before the summer so that we can unlock the 6,000 housing units in development in our territory ?"

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