How does France’s new home renovation scheme for the over-70s work?

Freeman

Reader Question: I read there was a new scheme to help elderly people renovate their homes to start in 2024. Is this true and how will it work? 

Yes, there is a new scheme for this, called MaPrimeAdapt’. It launched on January 1.

It has replaced several older schemes including the Habiter facile program from the Agence nationale de l’habitat (Anah), certain tax credits, and aid schemes for people with French pensions, from the Caisse nationale d’assurance vieillesse.

The MaPrimeAdapt’ helps to finance home improvements by up to 70% of the total costs (within a maximum ceiling of €22,000 of expenses) for elderly people living in France. 

Funds can be used for projects inside the home, including installing a bathtub with a walk-in shower or an electric stairlift, fitting handrails, widening doorways, etc. 

It can also be used for projects outside, including the addition of wheelchair ramps, specialised parking spaces and special shutters.

Who is eligible for the scheme? 

The scheme is aimed mostly at those aged 70 and over who have a level of income classed as ‘modest’ of ‘very modest’.

This is based on a household’s Revenu fiscal de référence (net taxable income), which must be below a certain threshold. 

You can find a list relating to these thresholds for projects in 2024 here, covering both the minimum amounts for the Île-de-France region, and the rest of the country.

Note that to qualify for the MaPrimeAdapt, you must fall into either the bleu (très modestes) or jaunes (modestes) categories. The other categories listed on the website relate to other kinds of home renovation projects and aids.

Households with a ‘very modest’ income level can receive up to 70% financing, and those with a ‘modest’ level up to 50%. 

The scheme can be combined with certain other aids including MaPrimeRénov grants (for work improving the home’s energy efficiency) and the APA (allocation personnalisée d’autonomie) and PCH (prestation de compensation du handicap) benefits.

Note that disabled people with the PCH and/or a recognised disability rated at least 50% can also qualify for MaPrimeAdapt’, as can people aged 60 to 69 who have officially recognised issues relating to autonomy (with the award of a ‘GIR’ rating ranking the severity).

However they still need to fall into one of the relevant income categories. 

Both homeowners and landlords with elderly or disabled tenants can apply for the scheme. Landlords must fall into the lower income levels and their property must be at least 15 years old. 

Read more: Sellers responsible for DIY defects in French home after sale

How does it work?

If you think you may be eligible, the recommended first step is to obtain further information and advice from a local branch of the FranceRénov’ network. You can find one by putting in your postcode here.

If you are eligible they will put you in contact with a specialist in maîtrise d’ouvrage (project leadership) referred to an an AMO.

He or she will do a review of your property’s suitability for the planned installation and will: 

  • Help you create a detailed financial plan for the project and help you find other potential avenues of financing
  • Assist you in preparing your application once your plans are finalised (it can be submitted online at this page or on a paper form)
  • Put you into touch with correctly regulated and qualified tradespeople and help you obtain quotes from them
  • Stay in touch for the duration of the project to offer advice throughout

The AMO is also obliged to advise you if your project plans are unsuitable, either due to construction limitations or financial requirements. 

Working with an AMO is mandatory to receive funding through the scheme.

It is too soon to say whether MaPrimeAdapt’ will be a success, however it is an official government-backed scheme.

Even so, last year there were reports of the related MaPrimeRénov’ grants being paid out later than had been anticipated in some cases. 

If you are considering the new scheme we would therefore advise checking with your AMO and chosen tradesperson as to whether you will be expected to pay all or some of the bill upfront before receiving the grant.

An Anah spokeswoman said this varies depending on your personal circumstances, and your contract with the tradesperson. In some cases, she said, it is possible to have an advance payment of the grant, in other cases you need to pay the bill before receiving it.

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