All French social landlords are governed by strict rent and allocation regulations. Their capital investments are also tightly regulated, and they are subject to a housing construction code and inspection regime specifically concerning construction and management of housing for low-income households. ANCOLS (Agence nationale de contrôle du logement social) is the independent public “watchdog” for the French social housing sector.
Among many responsibilities, ANCOLS oversees use of public funds by social housing providers in France, including analysing the appropriateness and efficacy of fund usage, setting out the results in a detailed annual report. From 2014-2019, ANCOLS had audited and issued recommendations to those responsible for 85 per cent of social housing provision in France. Sanctions issued by ANCOLS vary from recommendations to improve management practices to more severe measures such as fines and the dismissal of the board of management.
Importantly for the social housing providers themselves, ANCOLS can help to highlight issues with current government support schemes, both for providers and their tenants, and can help to provide the impetus for much-needed reforms. For example, the most recent annual review of ANCOL highlighted the recent changes to rental allowances in France, which reduced the capacity of social providers to develop and maintain buildings.
 For the latest report (in French), see https://www.ancols.fr/home/publications.html.https://www.ancols.fr/home/lancols/qui-sommes-nous.html