SYLVIE JACQUES: compare total costs carefully
family took advice from friends in Luxembourg on where to look and how to go about it. Buying a property was out of the question says Seban-Jeantet. “We chose to rent for now, so that we can get to know the local market better before deciding to buy a property.” Even so, Seban-Jeantet found conditions different from her native France, in particular the fixed three-year lease on her house. In regards to pricing she finds that “on average the properties are bigger in Luxembourg than in our region. In return, the price per square meter is lower by around 30 percent. Therefore, the budget to rent for a family is roughly the same.” Unlike many others, Seban-Jeantet and her family did not want to live across the border and commute. “We wanted to live close to my husband’s work and profit
13 • Olivier Minaire
Tennis star Gilles Muller rose to 49 in the ATP rankings.
Hidden housing “There are so many houses in Luxembourg that are empty,” says Gilles Hempel, manager of the social housing agency AIS, which acts as an intermediary between landlords and tenants in financial straits. Quite a few are vacant because owners have moved to retirement homes and their children do not have the time or capacity to rent the spaces out. In exchange for slightly below-market rent, AIS takes on financial and maintenance responsibilities. It is a good bargain for landlords since “they don’t have to do any work or deal with the problems,” and they know the social housing agency is financially backed by the family and housing ministries.
ANTI-NUKE About 300 protestors sep marched in Perl, Germany, calling for the closure of Cattenom nuclear power plant across the border in France. Ecologists say atomic energy is unsafe. Cattenom entered service in 1986 and produces 8% of France’s electricity.
from the city centre, its activities and shops.”
“We are not a competitor with the private market,” Hempel stresses, as AIS renters are those having difficulties. “Most of the people had a normal life, and then something happened.” This includes divorceemothers, widows, people who were laid off, fell ill or had an accident. All have trouble finding five months rent upfront to move into an apartment. “We see our agency as a social lift,” says Hempel. AIS renters pay a maximum of a third of their income for cold rent, for up to three years, with the government making up the rest. Hempel does believe the cost of housing in the Grand Duchy is a problem. “It’s difficult even for people who have a good job. But especially for people who don’t have much money. For the poorest, it’s a very, very big problem. Because everybody has to live somewhere. You cannot live in the street.”
NEW FOR NEUDORF The former Henri sep Funck brasserie in Neudorf was purchased by the Belgian group Atenor from HF Immobilier. The 13,000 square meter site will be redeveloped and feature apartments, restaurants and shops. Residents could move-in as soon as 2014.
30 • sep
1,000,000 Expected total visitors to the Pompidou-Metz after 16 months.
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23.09.2011 10:04:49 Uhr