In the Basque Country, premises can be given priority for housing
On the Basque coast, prices per square meter are soaring, second homes and Airbnbs are multiplying, which angers the locals. Tiles were even removed from the roof of the family home of the Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, to request the lifting of the housing tax on second homes, limited to 60%, last July. In this context, the cooperative society of collective interest, Etxalde, has just set up a “housing booklet”, reserved for residents and local businesses. The goal? Acquire buildings in common and ensure that they remain primary residences and not Airbnb or secondary residences.
Concretely, Etxalde carries out a dismemberment of property, it owns the property in bare ownership and the usufruct belongs to the inhabitants. “Whoever buys the usufruct, therefore the capacity to use the space, insures all the costs, the charges, as if he were a classic owner. He is free to do work in his accommodation, to make a veranda if he wants. On his death, the usufruct disappears but the cooperative that holds the bare ownership gives resale priority to the descendant of the usufructuary, brother, sister, child, nephew or nieceexplains Beñat Etchebest, CEO of the Etxalde cooperative. The idea being to no longer put these goods back on the market but to offer a “chosen sedentary lifestyle», without the explosion of the market forcing the locals to leave. “The price is indexed to the median income of the municipality and not on the market “, adds Beñat Etchebest, namely 21,700 euros approximately.
Priority to seniority
The cooperative plans to acquire a building in Boucau, near Bayonne, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64) comprising 8 apartments, for a living area of 460 m² for 1.27 million euros and is launching an online kitty on its site in order to finance the project, until June 23. The usufructuaries will have to pay an amount of 80,000 euros for a 2-room apartment then a contribution of 200 euros each month in order to participate in the acquisition of other goods by Etxalde. If on the death of the usufructuary, the property is transferred to a member of his family, the latter will pay only 8000 euros. “The cost of housing is therefore no longer a problem. The usufructuaries no longer have this sword of Damocles above their heads», rejoices the chairman and managing director of the Etxalde cooperative.
Priority is given to seniority, as reported France Blue. People who already live in Boucau are favoured. Then, among the residents of Boucau, those who have the least income but who still have the ability to buy are selected. A new stage in the fight of the Basque Country against real estate speculation.