In an interview granted to AFP, Bruno Arcadipane, president of the Action Logement organization, co-managed by employers and trade unions, comes back on the problems posed by the high prices of real estate for companies.
Do you observe recruitment difficulties linked to real estate prices?
Yes, completely. Mobility in general is obviously at the heart of the issues and it can be done either by buying a property near one's company or by renting a property. On the purely +purchase+ side, we can see that real estate loans are tightening, especially for first-time buyers, that rates are going up, but beyond that, there is a level of refusal of files that is increasing and that worries us, especially for tomorrow's new construction, while the needs are enormous.
For more than a year now, we have seen an acceleration in the number of requests for mobility assistance. In 2021, Action Logement has issued 800,000 aids, 222,000 of which are exclusively dedicated to mobility. (...) In addition, we had a record year for the Visale rental guarantee: we distributed 227,000 Visale passports, which provide a guarantee to landlords, to support the application of a young person or an employee earning up to 1,500 euros. When you add the two together, you come to about 450,000 aids dedicated to mobility. There is a growing and extremely important demand.
Because without it, we won't be able to recruit in certain employment areas. Housing has become a force of proposition for companies, an attractiveness for the employer able to provide its employees or its alternating students with housing close to the professional site.
A few months ago, I would have told you quite easily: bars, restaurants, construction, etc. Today, all sectors are affected. This is quite surprising, since we have an unemployment rate of about 7%. We can go to various sectors such as service, construction, very remote sectors, and all have the same level of difficulty today to recruit, all bangs together, and especially on the territories where the supply of housing is not sufficient.
The worst are the Ile-de-France, Paca (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, editor's note) and the Atlantic coast, of course, but not only there. Today, in the whole territory, you have geographical pockets where it is calamitous. The Luxembourg border, towards Thionville, for example, is very difficult. The Pays de Gex (near the Swiss border), everyone knows it, but it is more true than ever. For the Beauval zoo (Loir-et-Cher), we had to inaugurate a residence dedicated to seasonal workers in Saint-Aignan. If Action Logement is not there to offer this kind of solution, companies can no longer recruit. We are working with Yves Rocher in La Gacilly (Morbihan) to finance a residence, also for young people.