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Immo: the number of unoccupied homes is largely underestimated - Immo

Immo: the number of unoccupied homes is largely underestimated – Immo

A study by ULiège reveals that nearly 100,000 housing units are unoccupied in Wallonia. A potential that could be further developed, given the challenges in this area.

There are 1.7 million homes in Wallonia. And until now, quantifying the number of unoccupied dwellings among them was particularly complicated. A work of blessing for many municipalities. The Housing Fund of Wallonia (FLW) put forward the figure of 40,000 units while the Center for Studies in Sustainable Housing (CEHD) estimated for its part that between 15,000 and 20,000 private dwellings were unoccupied. A research carried out by Mathilde Flas scans these figures. His end-of-study work for a master’s degree in civil engineering and architecture at ULiège highlights a much larger stock of empty housing. To achieve this…

There are 1.7 million homes in Wallonia. And until now, quantifying the number of unoccupied dwellings among them was particularly complicated. A work of blessing for many municipalities. The Housing Fund of Wallonia (FLW) put forward the figure of 40,000 units while the Center for Studies in Sustainable Housing (CEHD) estimated for its part that between 15,000 and 20,000 private dwellings were unoccupied. A research carried out by Mathilde Flas scans these figures. His end-of-study work for a master’s degree in civil engineering and architecture at ULiège highlights a much larger stock of empty housing. To achieve this, it notably cross-referenced the databases of energy and water suppliers as well as addresses, creating for the occasion a new tool which, once refined, will be made available to municipalities. “The figures were largely underestimated until now, launches the one who will continue her research via a doctorate at the Faculty of Applied Sciences of ULiège. They are now more in line with international averages, which are around 6% of the park. .” In a region guided by the ambitions of “Stop concrete” and housing needs to respond to demographic changes, this situation has something to challenge. Especially since the incentives to upgrade this stock seem to exist. “It is indeed a very important and very interesting potential, points out Jacques Teller, professor of urban planning at ULiège. Given the current challenges, we can no longer turn a blind eye to the need to remarket And this, even if the constraints are numerous.” The main one relates to renovation costs. They are estimated between 1,000 and 1,500 euros/m2. “Amounts too close to the price of new to hope for a complete renovation of these dwellings, notes Mathilde Flas. Especially since according to our observations, a third of the owners are over 65 years old and that they have too low incomes to rehabilitate their homes. Not to mention that many elderly owners find it difficult to obtain loans. But even if 10% of the homes are put back on the market, it would already be a big step forward.” The renewal of the Walloon building stock, which is very obsolete, is in progress. Nearly 12,000 new homes are built each year in Wallonia. Figures, contrary to popular belief, larger than the increase in the number of households. “Which will further accentuate the differential between quality housing and others, notes Jacques Teller. Empty housing could therefore increase further. Establishing a strategy to combat land and property retention would reduce pressure on the housing market .” Among the avenues put forward, entrusting your property to a social real estate agency (AIS) seems the most appropriate, according to Mathilde Flas. This makes it possible to finance renovation work (up to 90,000 euros) by selling the property under management for 9 to 15 years. “The challenge is that the municipalities identify these empty dwellings much better and come into contact with the owners. This land potential can in any case no longer be neglected”, she concludes.

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