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Kaminoa project, 5 housing units under a real solidarity lease (RSL)

A project proposed by French Ministry of Ecological Transition

Buildings Sustainable economy Local life


Specialist :  Sophie Robin, In charge of public land and development tools
Contact : 



Initially, the first project of 5 housings had been intended on a former farm following its acquisition in 2011. However, the project was abandoned due to the deficit of the operation (land cost and the cost of the rehabilitation of the building).

Following the approval of the Aquitaine land cooperative as a Solidarity Land Organisation (SLO), of which the CO (Solidarity land organization), the owner of the site, is a member, the project was relaunched within the framework of the SLO/real solidarity lease (RSL) scheme with a view to neutralising the land charge and offering 5 homes for social homeownership, under the social loan for rent-to-own threshold (PSLA), in the heart of the village of Espelette, enabling young households to remain in the town.

In 2019, 5 3 bedroom flats of around 85m² with a garden were delivered. While land prices in Espelette are around €3,200 per square meter, the real rights to these properties were sold at an average price of €167,000, i.e. €1,992 per square meter of living space in a residence with a carefully designed Basque architecture, entirely renovated by architect Thierry Girault, plus a ground rent of €90 per month per household.

Themes : 
  • Construction
  • Quality of housing
  • Renovation / Rehabilitation
  • Social solidarity economy
  • Strengthening of social links and of solidarity
Scale : 
  • District


marker  Nouvelle-Aquitaine / Espelette
Type of territory : 
  • < 20,000 inhabitants
Built-up surface area :  416 m2
Project cost :  347,057 + €200,000 (purchase of land)
Project manager :  COL
Project owner :  Thierry Girault
Associated partners :  Aquitaine Land Cooperative


Project evaluation*

based on contributor declaration

Criterion 1: SUFFICIENCY

The Kaminoa project was carried out on the site of an old Basque farmhouse, which was renovated and divided into 5 flats.




Criterion 2: INCLUSION


The SLO/RSL scheme is a lever in the fight against property speculation, as the public subsidies initially paid for the completion of the operation are crystallised in the RSL, the resale of which is controlled. Moreover, by relying on this model, local authorities can, in addition to keeping low-income households in place, provide new solutions in terms of social mix. Indeed, rehabilitating a building or a house in a town center is often very expensive. Without massive public aid, local authorities find it difficult to produce housing for social access. In this context, by dissociating the land from the building, the scheme proves to be an interesting alternative by offering sale prices that remain accessible to all despite the renovation work undertaken. For rural municipalities, it is also an interesting lever to support the rehabilitation of their town centers.

The 5 social homeownership units in RSL are intended for households with incomes below the PSLA. The price per square meter is approximately €1,992 per m2 (compared with €3,200 per m2 in the open market).

Under the SLO/RSL scheme, the land is owned by an SFO (in this case, the Aquitaine Land Cooperative), while the households that take out an SLO/RSL acquire real rights for a period of 18 to 99 years.

According to the initial feedback from households, and although they do not own the land for which they pay a fee for its occupation, the scheme is rather well received and the notion of ground rent well accepted. Without the SLO carrying the land share, these households would not have been able to access homeownership in Espelette.

Criterion 3: RESILIENCE



Criterion 4: CREATIVITY




The system is currently being deployed throughout France (metropolitan France and the overseas departments). To date, 54 SLO have been approved and nearly one hundred RSL housing units delivered (Lille, Espelette, Kremlin-Bicêtre, etc.). This dynamic is intended to grow and, by 2024, it is projected that, based on the programs identified with the SLOs approved by the Regional Directorate for the Environment, Planning and Housing  (DREAL), approximately 20,000 housing units will be in SLO.

About Solène

Mission Officer, Working Group, and Projects. Student at the Urban School of Sciences Po Paris, focusing on the ecological transition of cities.

About Quentin

Motivated by climate issues and planetary boundaries, Quentin decided to study land use planning at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. His experience in associative field at the Fresque du Climat, helped him to better understand the stakes of the ecological bifurcation. Between his native Haute-Savoie and his home town Rennes, where he gained expertise in mobility and sustainable agriculture, he is now based in Paris to deploy the Sustainable City by France’s territorial workshops throughout the country.

About Alice

After five years’ study at Sciences Po Lyon, with a specialization in territorial transitions, Alice joined Sustainable City by France (France Villes et territoires Durables). She actively contributes to the deployment of the association’s territorial workshops and working groups.
See her LinkedIn profile 

Currently studying as a second-year Master’s student in International Relations at University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Tara holds a Bachelor’s degree from INALCO, with a double-major in Hindi language, and International relations / Environmental studies. Her work with us is in line with her former experiences at UNESCO and the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, thus deepening her professional expertise in the field of environmental diplomacy and international cooperation for sustainable development.

See her LinkedIn profile


She holds a Master’s degree in Development Economics from the Panthéon-Sorbonne University and is currently studying for a Master’s degree in International Relations and Action Abroad at the same university. She approaches the problems of sustainable cities and territories through these different perspectives and her international experiences.

About Isabelana

Isabelana is a Mexican journalist who holds a Master’s degree in Digital Communication and Data Analysis from the Sorbonne University. She previously worked in communication and press relations in the cultural sector in France and Mexico. Today, she is interested in ecological actions and solutions to preserve the environment and the biodiversity.

About Camille

camille photo
With a background in social sciences, art history and architecture, Camille has worked in communication within the VINCI group: from major international projects to La Fabrique de la Cité, a think tank dedicated to urban foresight.

About Alexandra

A geographer by training (Saint Petersburg State University), she started as a geographer and economist at the Academy of Agricultural Economics (Russia), before pursuing her career in France as an administrative and accounting assistant (Air Liquide, Association TGV Provence Côte d’Azur, COFHUAT, Groupe Hervé)

About Marion

Trained in international and European affairs between England and France as part of a double degree at Sciences-Po Lille / University of Kent, Marion started her career in advocacy and institutional relations of non-governmental organisations, in the fair trade sector (Max Havelaar France label). Her experiences are also linked to territories, with a passage in decentralised cooperation at the level of a departmental council.

About Sébastien

Before joining the SCbF team, he held several positions in local government management. From elected official and deputy mayor of his native city Besançon, in charge of university relations and international cooperation, to Director of Economic Development of the City of Pantin, to Chief of staff in Montreuil – where he notably piloted the in-depth redesign of the urban project towards more ecology and sustainable development – he continued his career as Senior Resilience Officer of the City of Paris.
He promotes a holistic and systemic vision of sustainable development and brings his expertise in territorial resilience, ecological and social transition.