Le Fi­garo

French Property News - - News -

De­mo­li­tion works for six vil­las lo­cated in flood-risk zones in Biot on the French Riviera have be­gun. The prop­er­ties were badly af­fected by dev­as­tat­ing flash floods which hit the Alpes-mar­itimes town back in 2015 and caused the death of three peo­ple trapped in their homes on the banks of La Brague. The French gov­ern­ment bought 11 of these prop­er­ties from their own­ers and is now pro­ceed­ing to de­mol­ish six vil­las and wall up five oth­ers. The land left af­ter de­mo­li­tion might be used for com­mu­nity gar­dens as it can no longer be built upon for hous­ing or com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties.

An ex­posé on dodgy land­lords has un­cov­ered the case of a 71-year-old man whose at­tic apart­ment is so tiny he can only stand up­right in 1m2 of it, plus a young woman who lives in a 4m2 flat and is forced to share a toi­let on a bal­cony with male ten­ants.

The French gov­ern­ment has vowed to crack down on prop­erty own­ers who rent out apart­ments smaller than the min­i­mum 9m2. The new pro­posed ELAN hous­ing law will pun­ish ‘slum­lords’ on the same level as drug traf­fick­ers, risk­ing up to five years’ im­pris­on­ment and a €150,000 fine.

An old 17th-cen­tury prison in Brest, Brit­tany, will be con­verted into hous­ing. Built in 1670, the ‘prison de Pon­tan­iou’ was later used for im­pris­on­ing mem­bers of the French Re­sis­tance dur­ing the Sec­ond World War and has lain empty since the 1990s. It will now be trans­formed af­ter the mairie of Brest sold it to a Parisian de­vel­oper who spe­cialises in restor­ing his­toric build­ings.

The project has yet to be fi­nalised but it is hoped 30 or so apart­ments will be de­liv­ered by 2020 and there will be a me­mo­rial of some sorts on the prop­erty.

Pon­tan­iou prison

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