The World According to the ANAH

The ANAH is the authority that give people money for renovating homes under certain circumstances.  Private individuals living in older homes can get grants for doing things like replacing windows with double glazing, upgrading electricity and plumbing, etc. How much they get is based on various factors, including income.

ANAH also gives money to people who renovate older homes into rental accommodation for people with low incomes. There are various levels of grants, going from the most if you take people who are on real welfare, to a medium amount for taking anyone you want as long as their income passes a means test, to a small amount for being able to rent to anyone no matter how much money they make.

With the house that we’re renovating for my Mom, we’re using the middle level to fix up three rental properties besides the one that she will use.  Probably over 90% of the renters in our area fit into the means test, but we will be able to choose our own renters without being forced to take just anyone that social services wants to put in an apartment.  Part of the rent will be guaranteed, and we need to accept to do this for 9 years.  It seems to be a good deal, as with the grant almost 50% of the work will be paid for, and the rest will be covered by a low interest bank loan.

The downside of the operation is that you can’t really begin the work until the grant is approved.  We are not the only people in the area who have applied for a grant. The commission that approves the grants meets once a month. Do you see where I’m going here?  We turned in our file at the end of January and we’re still waiting.

We knew, of course, that the chances of it getting to the top of the pile in February were relatively slim.  We had hoped that we would make it for March.  But, no.  Now we’re counting on April. We can’t apply for the bank loan until we get the grant.  We can’t really start work until both parts of the operation are in place.  So, Mom is still living Chez Nous.

We walk by our other little house and look at the windows sadly.  Some day, Mom will be in there and we will recover our bedroom.  Someday, but not today. The wheels of the ANAH turn slowly…

Ciao for now.


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4 thoughts on “The World According to the ANAH

  1. dear randy,

    i must say that i am really amazed/alarmed by the current information about procedures of the ANAH, which to me seemed like a good institution for those among us, really needing help. i was interested in that program, until i read your blog and now i feel a bit disappointed since it seems to be like every other french bureaucracy with endless pain/stress guaranteed.

    i think i’ll be better of, doing everything on my own. i am to finish one nice appartement in about 4 weeks time from now on. maybe your mother will be interested then?

    all the best for the moment


  2. Alex, I shouldn’t have made it sound quite so bleak. It’s still an excellent resource, however, like all things, it takes time. Under normal circumstances, it wouldn’t be a problem for us, but clearly, with all of us living together, the sooner the work begins the better.

    Good luck on your own project, and don’t give up on the ANAH. However, do remember that you need to apply to them BEFORE work starts, and you can’t do the work yourself.


  3. It could be worse, you could be (like me) on a two-year waiting list for some local, income-tested HUD fix-up funding.

    It could be worse, you could be in cold, rainy upstate New York, instead of not-as-cold, rainy southwest France.

    It could be worse, your Mom could still be in SoCal.

    Best of luck with the bureaucracy and the project.

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