If you have friends in high places, read on. If you are fluent
in French and Occitan, and an expert in dealing successfully
with functionaires, read on. Otherwise, forget all idea of
worthwhile grants, without strings.
Some grants that you might like to investigate if you have
time to spare are given below.
It is theoretically possible to obtain local authority grants
for building work in exceptional circumstances, but such circumstances
are rare. It is possible to obtain grants from the Gites de
France if you create a gite from dilapidated farm buildings.
You will however be tied to them for years, and unable to
let your property through any other organisation.
It is possible to obtain grants to convert buildings for
letting to those on social security. Up to 90% grants are
available, and the rents supposedly guaranteed, but the property
must be available to the local authority ten years. This sounds
a reasonable deal, but a number of horror stories are circulating.
Locals call it another piege a cons (trap for fools).
It is possible to obtain grants from the Agence National
d'Amelioration d'Habitat (ANAH), which contributes towards
the improvement of buildings over 15 years old. It must be
your principal residence, and remain so for for nine years
after the work is complete.
It is possible to obtain grants for listed buildings from
the Batiments de France. In theory these can be significant,
40%, but by the time you have allowed for the fact that only
certain structural works qualify, that various conditions
apply even to those, and that that 40% is a theoretical maximum,
and that in any case they might unexpectedly run out of money,
then allow for the extra work involved in producing proposals
and options for their Lordships' perusal, paying for specialist
architects, engineers and geologists - you are likely to be
out of pocket. If you are thinking of buying in the Aude,
avoid listed buildings at all costs, as your life will be
blighted by the functionaires of Carcassonne, who are considerably
worse than useless.
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