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Accomodation of workers

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Accommodation of workers of the Lyon-Turin rail link construction site

Implementing partner: General Council of Savoie

Geographical area: Maurienne valley, Savoie (France)

Aim of the Pilot Action
The pilot action aims at making the best use of available housing resources in the local area to host the people employed on the construction site, whilst at the same time respecting the endogenous accommodation needs of the area (accommodation of the local population and tourists). The specific objectives of the action were:

  1. to compare the accommodation needs of construction-site personnel and the unoccupied accommodation in the Maurienne valley;
  2. to define the technical and financial means to bring the available vacant accommodation to the market;
  3. to develop a concrete operational framework to put these proposals into practice.

The questions addressed in the pilot action are highly relevant to the construction of the Lyon-Turin rail link, as they would be to any major infrastructure construction project as such projects involve the influx of large number of external workers which could lead to potential problems such as the destabilisation of the local housing market, the exploitation of local or incoming tenants by unscrupulous landlords or the appearance of ‘shanty towns’ of temporary shelters without adequate access to water and sanitation services.

Achievements/Results
The pilot action enabled a detailed evaluation of the vacant housing stock in the Maurienne valley, held by both public (local authority) and private landlords. After allowing for normal turnover in the local housing market and demand for tourist accommodation, the study concluded that the amount of accommodation potentially available exceeds the likely needs of workers on the future Lyon-Turin construction sites. To arrive at this conclusion, the study considered the number of bedrooms of the vacant properties to determine suitability for single tenants, families, etc. It then assessed the condition of vacant properties, evaluated the costs of refurbishment necessary to bring them to the market and estimated the willingness of landlords to carry out the necessary renovation work – a vital condition of the potential accommodation identified.
The second part of the pilot action involved a review and evaluation of the existing financial incentives and other support available to landlords to encourage them to undertake any renovation work and to assist them in making their properties available for rent. These schemes have different criteria which may not be wholly appropriate to the Lyon-Turin construction project, given its very specific nature. The third part of the pilot action therefore involves recommending an operational mechanism to best meet the objectives outlined above, taking into account not only the pre-construction and construction phases of the project, but also, importantly, the post-construction phase, when the economic stimulus comes to an end and the area has to establish a long-term equilibrium. The legal, regulatory and operational aspects of the recommended approach will be provided in detail and the estimated renovation costs will be fine-tuned based on an analysis of sample properties. The methodology for implementation and monitoring of the mechanism will also be provided, explaining how to accompany public and private landlords of vacant properties in their venture to bring their property to the market.

Outputs
The pilot action output consists of a report covering the three phases of the analysis undertaken: 1) Territorial analysis – evaluation of the existing vacant housing stock in the Maurienne valley; 2) Development of financial and operational mechanisms – a review of existing financial and operational mechanisms and proposals for an appropriate arrangement for the specific situation of the Lyon-Turin rail link construction site; 3) Operational framing – identification of a recommended operational mechanism.
The report is intended to assist the partners of the Lyon-Turin rail link project and the “Démarche Grand Chantier” – notably the French government and the Department of Savoie – in successfully managing this important element of the Lyon-Turin construction project.