Good Practice > Financing instruments > Subsidies to strengthen environmental quality of social housing buildings

Subsidies to strengthen environmental quality of social housing buildings

Region: Rhône-Alpes Region
Implemented on: Regional level
Target group: Social housing companies


Social housing buildings are often old and energy consumption is very high, leading to increasing energy poverty. Energy efficiency improvements are the best answer to reduce rental charges. Since 2007, subsidies of the regional council of Rhône-Alpes for new and retrofitted social housing are depended on to the environmental quality of projects, incl. a criteria catalogue with compulsory and soft targets to guarantee exemplary projects, training sessions for social housing staff and designers, subsidies for feasibility studies and highly efficient projects and a website and a hotline. This is a joint procedure between regional Council of Rhône-Alpes, ADEME-French Environment and Energy Management Agency and the ARRA HLM-regional association for social housing.


  • Reduction of consumption costs for tenants;
  • Reduction of fossil energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Contribution to local employment.


  • Subsidies of about 2 000 to 4 000 € by housing
  • Training and assistance for design studies are supported by regional Council and ADEME.


  • Since 2007, more than 1000 new housings and more than a hundred retrofitted housing.

Lessons learnt:

  • Strong involvement of social housing owners but even of regional Council and Ademe and 60% of new social housing is ahead of the regulation;
  • Improved know-how of social housing staff and consultants;
  • Good preparation for the changes in 2012 regarding thermal regulation;
  • The assistance plan has been very efficient.