Secondary residences and land dispossession: a law project

Fight against land and real estate speculation: this is a bill put forward by Jean-Félix Acquaviva. The Nationalist Deputy, while waiting for a possible window of fire to debate in the National Assembly, intends to use the 3Ds law – new decentralization law, under discussion this early December – to lay the groundwork for his text through several amendments. In the background , a real emergency: the frenzy of new constructions, and an implacable mechanism of land dispossession that nothing seems to be able to stop.

Three pillars

The bill revolves around three main axes: a reinforced right of pre-emption for the Collectivity of Corsica, taxation of second homes in order to provide the Region with a significant new financial resource, and finally a strengthening of the concept of ‘strategic spaces, directly linked to PADDUC. To these 3 central points, an important appendix has been added: the ability for all the municipalities of Corsica to impose the declaration in town hall of all furnished tourist accommodation, and therefore, in the event of excessive requests, to refuse this registration, in order to curb the phenomenon of para-commercialization.

First axis: a new right of pre-emption for the Region

This urban pre-emption right for the CDC would be extended to themes of general interest other than the defense of sensitive natural spaces: home ownership, the creation of social housing, public service centers, transport infrastructure. but also all economic development and environmental protection projects. This first pillar would intervene in areas extremely constrained today by land and real estate speculation, which would be determined by the Council of State and from a certain level of income, to really fight against speculation.

A sustainable resource

The second pillar would provide this right of pre-emption with a sustainable resource up to the challenges: taxation of real estate speculation on second homes. On this theme, two proposals are put forward: the first consists of taxing the value of second homes by excluding all joint-stock property, based on geographic criteria, but also those whose value is below a certain threshold defined by the Council of State, and also allow an exemption based on income criteria. Through these criteria, Jean-Félix Acquaviva hopes to prune all the problems of Corsican heritage houses which today constitute only a third of all second homes.The second proposal would consist in taxing real estate capital gains apart from transfers of principal residence and undivided property, with the possibility of exemption according to income as well, and according to the territories concerned.

PADDUC and strategic spaces

The third axis concerns the PADDUC. It would strengthen the notion of strategic spaces. In addition to strategic agricultural areas, the law would aim to strengthen the possibility of creating areas of territorial economic and social balance at the level of municipalities. The goal: to promote as a priority in these areas social access to property, social housing, sustainable economic development projects, and therefore exclude, in terms of prioritization, mass distribution, the phenomenon of seasonal rentals and secondary residentialization. According to the Deputy, « the prioritization of spaces is also a means of curbing the increase in second homes and above all of codifying the need to create other housing,other economic development zones and other public service infrastructure. It is up to the municipality to translate them into its PLU of course. »

A law on stand-by

On March 31, the Law Commission validated a proposal relating to the statutory development of the Corsican Collectivity in order to fight against land and real estate speculation. This bill was carried by the nationalist deputies, with Jean-Félix Acquaviva in the front line. It was initially to be studied at the National Assembly on April 8, within the framework of a specific speaking time – also called parliamentary niche – reserved for the Libertés & Territoires group.. In the end, the speculation debate could not take place. Discussions at the time focused on a bill on the end of life and « active medical assistance in dying », which had been the subject of more than 3000 amendments. Exit therefore the bill, which has not been put on the carpet since. The group’s next parliamentary niche will be in February. By then, the Deputy seems to have changed his mind: he aims to pass several urgent points of his law through amendments to the 3DS law – formerly the 4D law, a new decentralization law – in order to move the lines. A first amendment was also voted on December 6, despite the unfavorable opinion of the government, granting Corsica the right to a legislative experimentation procedure,different from common law.

But will this be enough? In an uncompromising interview, Jean-Félix Acquaviva gives us his feelings about the situation, and the prospects for future developments … Without losing sight of the fact that the countdown has started.

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