Poor housing in France: the Abbé Pierre Foundation tackles the government


The twenty-third annual report of the Abbé Pierre Foundation on poor housing in France denounces the “insufficiency” of the government's efforts to remedy it.

La Abbé Pierre Foundation (FAP) has just published its twenty-third annual report on poor housing in France. Denouncing the greater vulnerability of the growing number of poorly housed people, she attacks the government and the “insufficiency” of its efforts to remedy it.

The Foundation estimates that 4,15 million people are poorly housed in France, that they have no personal accommodation, that they live in a place that is far too small for them, that they are deprived of basic comforts or even though they belong to a large proportion of “Travellers” suffering from poor living conditions.

The "halo" of poor housing, which includes situations such as fuel poverty or tenants with unpaid bills, concerns 12,1 million people, according to calculations by the FAP, i.e. more than a sixth of the population.

“The country can no longer bear this injustice which leaves its men, women and children on the street, some reduced to begging to survive,” says Laurent Desmard, President of the Abbé Pierre Foundation.

#REML2023 I🗣️Laurent Desmard, President of the Abbé Pierre Foundation, "The country can no longer take this injustice which leaves its men, women and children on the street, some reduced to begging to survive." pic.twitter.com/Zm1qUElBuk

– AbbéPierre Foundation (@Abbe_Pierre) February 1, 2023


And it is inflation that the Foundation points to in the first place. It has accelerated significantly in 2022 and is putting low-income households in difficulty by increasing their constrained costs (housing, travel, food, etc.).

Faced with this observation, the FAP denounces “the inadequacy of public responses to make housing affordable”. She deplores “a blank year or almost in the fight against poor housing”. The “public effort for housing”, bringing together aid for people and production, in 2021 only represented 1,5% of gross domestic product, a figure which has not been so low since at least 1991, denounces the FAP.

The general delegate of the Foundation, Christophe Robert, is indignant, “for the richest, on the one hand, permanent, massive measures; to the poorest, on the other hand, ad hoc measures".

Invited by France Inter, he explains, "we are not virulent to be virulent".

“We noted, during the first five-year term of Emmanuel Macron, that housing contributed to the drop in budgetary expenditure in a very significant way, it is one of the main contributors to this drop. We have a level of investment in housing that has never been so low since this figure was calculated: we have lost 15 billion per year of investment or involvement in this area. Of which 4 billion on APL: that is to say on what allows modest or poor households to find housing. »

Speaking on RMC about the 330 homeless people in France, the Director of Studies of the FAP, Manuel Domergue, "what alerts us is that we have the impression that the government does not take the measure of the problem and especially n there is no policy that could come to absorb it”. If he affirms that there are "not enough actions", he also deplores "the negative actions", with in particular "the resumption of rental evictions after the Covid", the "evictions of slums, without any solution accommodation behind, or even housing obviously" or even the "Kasbarian-Bergé bill which will put in prison people who are in arrears of rent, people who are in squats".

On Wednesday, during the official presentation of the report at the Maison de la Mutualité in Paris, the Minister Delegate for the City and Housing, Olivier Klein, is expected to respond to criticism and to present the new "Housing First" plan, which aims to facilitate the return to housing of homeless people.

MC (with AFP)

Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Janis Smits

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