It was until now a wasteland bordering the railway lines and belonging to the city. But for a few days, four modular housing units have just been installed at 35-39 rue Auguste Pavie in Rennes. They are waiting for their tenants who will move in at the beginning of the summer. Equipped with a wooden terrace and a small garden shed and clad in metal cladding, these modules come in two versions: a 20 m² studio and a 30 m² one-bedroom apartment. The particularity of these prefabricated dwellings is to be movable. Delivered by truck, they can thus be moved to another site in one day.
Called Without fixed land, this new transitional housing scheme aims to respond to the housing crisis. Because if Rennes has often been set up as an example in terms of social housing, the Breton capital now sees all its lights turned red. “The indicators are not good and I do not hide this observation”, recognizes the socialist mayor Nathalie Appéré. In the metropolis over which she presides, more than 26,000 applicants are indeed waiting for social housing. “The waiting period now exceeds three years whereas it was eighteen months a few years ago, continues the elected socialist. This is unheard of and it is unacceptable! “A consequence in particular of the crisis in which the real estate market is stuck with prices that have soared and new constructions at half mast.
Use temporarily available land
Faced with the crying need for housing, the very attractive metropolis of Rennes has therefore revised its sliders upwards in its new local housing program (2023-2028) with the construction of 5,000 new housing units per year, including a quarter of social housing. But before the programs come out of the ground and to respond to the emergency, the community must therefore find other solutions while complying with the goal of zero net land take.
This requires the use of each available m². Because if land has become very rare, Rennes and the neighboring municipalities still have land available which is waiting to be developed or for which nothing has yet been decided. Hence the idea of temporarily installing modules there to house priority people waiting for accommodation, whether they are people in great exclusion or women with children who are victims of violence. “It’s an emergency solution pending a more lasting solution,” said Paul-Marie Claudon, secretary general of the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine.
The comfort of a classic furnished
Mass-built by two local players, Mayers, formerly Réalité Build Tech Industries, and the Legendre group, these modules also offer all the comforts of conventional accommodation with a small kitchen, a bathroom and a sleeping area. “We have to break the image of these movable dwellings because they meet the same regulations as permanent dwellings,” underlines Vincent Legendre, president of the eponymous group.
By the end of the year, twenty-two of these homes will have been installed on six sites temporarily fallow in the Rennes metropolitan area. “It’s still quite modest for the moment and of course it won’t solve everything, but it’s an additional brick”, assures Nathalie Appéré.