A system of grant assistance for house renovation operates throughout France.
Broadly speaking, there are three main types of grant for owner-occupiers - improvement grants, a grant for energy conservation, and a grant for adaptations to meet the needs of a disabled person.
These grants are available to anyone who is resident in the country, subject to a test of resources.
A couple living in the provences (ie. not around Paris) would need to have a net income of no more than €16,232 in order to qualify, while for a family of four it would be €22,889.
Nevertheless, if the property is located in an improvement area, or it is in an insanitary condition, then these income thresholds rise substantially; to e25,172 in the case of a couple, and to e35,366 for a family of four.
Those who live in copropriété are also eligible at the higher income levels.
However, even if you meet the income criteria do not hold your breath that a grant is going to be enough to renovate the ruin you may have purchased in France as the grant levels are low.
Indeed, if the property is likely to require complete reconstruction, you may well find that, even if you meet the income criteria, you will not receive a grant.
However, what is perhaps of greatest interest is that the grants are cumulative, so that it is possible to receive more than one type of grant (as well as other forms of assistance) provided you meet the relevant criteria.
The level of the basic improvement grant is 20% of the costs of the works, subject to a maximum grant of €13,000.
Exceptionally, where the property is considered to be insanitary, the grant may be up to 50%, subject to a cost ceiling of €30,000.
In addition to the basic grant it is also possible to receive a grant for works of energy conservation, which is aided at the rate of 20% to 35% (depending on your income), subject to a maximum of €13,000. If you require disability adaptation works then, once again, it is possible to accumulate this grant with those above.
Departmental and regional councils also offer grant assistance, but more often than not, what you receive with the one hand, you will lose with the other.
All of these grants are administered through the housing improvement agency ANAH - Agence Nationale pour l’Amélior-ation de l’Habitat.
There are offices of ANAH in all departments, and in improvement areas (called Opérations Programmées d’Amélioration de l’Habitat - OPAH), you will also find branch offices.
Although a set of national rules applies, there is no automatic right to a grant, even though you may meet the income and conditions criteria.
All applications are considered by a local ANAH committee who will decide on each application based on its merits.