[Updated Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at 11:24 a.m.]The change in the method of calculating LPAs is not now. Scheduled for January 2020, the implementation of the PLA reform in real time is finally postponed to April 2020, as announced by the CAF on 26 December last. So what’s going to happen and when? The decree relating to the resources taken into account for the calculation of personal housing allowances has been published in the Journal Officiel of 31 December 2019. The text provides for the income of the last 12 months on a rolling basis to be taken into account instead of the income of the penultimate year. As of April 2020. The first payment impacted will therefore be the one made on May 5, 2020, relating to your April housing assistance, the first one calculated with your resources of the last 12 months. With the introduction of the withholding tax, information on the income of beneficiary households will be updated automatically every three months, so that entitlements will be recalculated every quarter. The professional earnings of self-employed persons are those included in the category of industrial and commercial profits, agricultural profits and non-commercial profits for the penultimate year preceding the date of initiation or review of the duty, as specified in the Decree.
What is PLA? The APL, for Aide personnalisée au logement, is a financial aid granted by the Caisse d’allocations familiales (Caf) to enable those who meet the conditions to benefit from it to reduce the amount of their rent or their monthly mortgage repayment.
Several conditions must be met to be eligible for the APL:
- Among the criteria to be met, some are related to the dwelling for which the LPA is requested. It must be your main residence: you cannot benefit from the APL for your second home. Another imperative: the accommodation must be in France. The dwelling for which LPA is required must also meet certain decency criteria and minimum occupancy requirements. In particular, the dwelling must have at least one main room with a living area of 9 square metres and a minimum ceiling height of 2.20 metres or, failing that, a living volume of 20 cubic metres.
- There areother conditions for the award of the LPA, this time in relation to the applicant himself. You can apply for an APL if you are a tenant or sub-tenant (in the case of sub-tenancy, this must be declared to the owner) of an agreed dwelling, i.e. one that has been the subject of an agreement between its owner (the organisation in charge of managing the dwelling) and the State. But you can also claim the APL if you are a homeowner, provided that you have benefited from a loan agreement or a social accession loan. You can also apply for an APL if you live in a hostel, such as Ehpad, for example.
- Finally, in order to be eligible for APL, you must meet the means test: your income must not exceed a certain ceiling which varies according to the composition of your household and the geographical area in which the accommodation for which APL is requested is located.
Where to send your PLA application? The application for APL can be made online on the CAF website. It is also possible to apply for an APL via a paper form. This one is to be collected directly from the Caf.
To carry out an APL simulation and find out if you are eligible for housing assistance, there’s nothing like going through the CAF website, which makes a simulator available to Internet users. A few simple facts about the composition of the household and its resources provide, in a few clicks, an estimate of the LPA to which to aspire. Among the information you will have to provide to find out the amount of your possible APL are your postcode, the conditions of occupation of your accommodation (if you are a tenant, if you are buying a property…), the nature of the accommodation (independent accommodation or room rented from a private individual)… During the simulation of the housing benefit, you will also be asked whether you live alone, with your spouse or with the person with whom you are cohabiting, whether you rent it furnished, whether it is under an agreement, what is the amount of your rent, etc… The CAF website also allows you to apply for APL online.
The calculation of the APL takes into account several parameters:
- The resources of the household (see below). As of January 2020, the resources used for the calculation of the LPA are those of the penultimate year preceding the LPA application, but those of the last 12 months. All the resources of the household are taken into account, regardless of the situation of its members (cohabitation, PACS, marriage, etc.). The resources of persons residing with the applicant for more than 6 months at the date of application or at the beginning of the LPA payment period are also taken into account. The resources referred to here correspond to the categorical net incomes of the persons mentioned above. In other words, salaries, property income… adjusted for expenses, such as alimony paid, and possible tax deductions (those granted to people over 65, to disabled people…).
- The composition of the household
- The employment status of the applicant(s)
- The geographical location of the dwelling
- For benefits due as of 1 October 2016, when it exceeds EUR 30,000, the asset value of the recipients is taken into account in the assessment of resources, as provided for in the 2016 Finance Act (AAH holders and elderly dependents in EHPAD are not concerned). Above this threshold, therefore, the amount of the APL decreases. In concrete terms, the value of all of the recipient’s real estate assets, with the exception of his or her principal residence, is now taken into account for the calculation of the APL. It is the rental value indicated on the last tax notice for the housing tax or property tax that is authentic. Recipients who have a second home, in particular, are therefore targeted by this measure aimed at refocusing housing assistance on people with modest incomes. Savings accounts, including Livret A passbook savings accounts, life insurance policies and shares are also included in the assets taken into account, as provided for by the decree defining the determination and conditions for taking into account the resources of the value of assets, published in the Official Journal on 16 October 2016. Only assets that have not produced, during the reference calendar year, income used to establish income tax in respect of the net categorical income referred to in Article R. 351-5 are taken into account for the calculation of the aid, details the implementing decree. The assets in question are considered to generate an annual income equal to 50% of their rental value in the case of built-up buildings, 80% of this value in the case of undeveloped land and 3% of the capital amount for financial investments.
- The date of signature of the loan if the APL is solicited by a first-time buyer. Please note that it is only possible to apply for an APL accession if you are repaying a loan agreement signed before 1 February 2018 or, if the loan is signed from 1 February 2018, only if it relates to an old dwelling in a municipality located in zone 3.
The rent taken into account in determining the amount of the APL is within a certain ceiling which varies according to the geographical area in which the dwelling is located as well as the composition of the household applying for the APL. The applicable rent ceilings are as follows Note: Zone 1 corresponds to Ile-de-France, zone 2 to agglomerations of more than 100,000 inhabitants and Corsica and zone 3 to the rest of the territory.
Single person without dependants
Couple without dependants
Single person or couple with one dependant
Per additional dependant
Moreover, the 2016 Finance Act provides for a gradual reduction in the APL above a certain rent ceiling, or even for the outright abolition of aid above a certain rent level. This measure applies to benefits paid as of July 1, 2016 to tenants, roommates, subtenants and room tenants. It does not, however, concern disabled persons, first-time home buyers, students residing in university residences, beneficiaries living in hostels, those living in homes for the elderly or disabled, those living in retirement homes, long-term care centres, those living in young workers’ hostels and those living in social residences.
Couple or single with one person
Per additional person
Students are particularly concerned by APL applications. Indeed, many of them expressed the need to live close to their university, with little or no resources. Those whose parents are subject to the IFI and who are connected to their tax household are no longer entitled to the LPA.
After the reduction in benefits due from 1andOctober 2017 of 5 euros per month, the budget of the HLM organisations was reduced by 800 million euros in 2018 and 873 million euros in 2019. As of 1 January 2020, the reform of the calculation of LPAs comes into force. It consists of an adjustment of the amount of income assistance to the recipient’s income from one quarter to the next, whereas the old method of calculation was based on the resources of the year N-2. A reform made possible by the implementation of the income tax withholding tax which allows the CAF to know the income received by the beneficiary the previous month.