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French Property

Subsidence Grant for Home-Owners

Friday 04 December 2020

The government have agreed an exceptional grant to certain owners of properties affected by the 2018 drought.

Under normal circumstances, subsidence claims following a drought can only be made following a declaration of a natural disaster (catastrophe naturelle) by the government.

Claims must be made via your insurer, but only those claims in areas where the natural disaster has been declared can be considered. You can read more about that whole process in our Guide to House Insurance Claims in France.

Following the drought of 2018, in October 2019 a catastrophe naturelle was declared by the government in 35 departments covering around 150 municipalities.

Many local councils who made a claim on behalf of their residents were not successful in having a natural disaster declared, a result that is not uncommon.

Following prolonged and sustained lobbying, the government have now conceded that for those communes who were not successful in their application, an exceptional grant will be made available to certain victims of the drought.

Eligibility for the grant is subject to means-testing, using the income test that is otherwise used to assess eligibility for home improvement grants award through the government housing renewal agency 'Anah'.

Anah divide eligible households into two categories - those on a 'modest' income and those on a 'very modest' income, with maximum income thresholds that vary between the Ile-de-France and the provinces.

In relation to the Ile-de-France, the thresholds are as follows:
Household Size
Very Modest Income
Modest Income
Outside of the Ile-de-France, the maximum eligible income figures are as follows:
Household SizeVery Modest IncomeModest Income

The income figure used is that advised on your French income tax notice for 2019 income, your revenu fiscal de référence.

Those on a modest income are eligible for a maximum subsidence grant of up to €10,000; those on a very modest income a grant of up to €15,000.

The property must be the principal residence of the applicant, and the building must also have suffered structural damage which compromises the strength and the safety of the home. Only damage to the residential parts of the property is eligible.

The grant must cover up to 80% of the amount of work carried out with 20% to be funded by the recipient.

The recipient of the aid will have to justify the completion of the work within two years of notification of the aid, by providing the necessary documentation to the local prefecture.

An application requesting assistance must be submitted before 28 February 2021 to the local prefecture, who have three months to decide on the application.

There is no specific form to complete, and the government have issued no guidance on the documents that should be submitted. Accordingly, those who wish to make an application should contact their local mairie in the first instance to confirm if you are in an eligible commune.

The relevant regulation can be found at Decree 2020-1423 19 nov 2020.

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