Monday, January 30, 2017

Poor housing : the Fondation Abbé Pierre has been spending a great oral to the candidates – The Figaro

computer GRAPHICS – Nearly 15 million people are affected by the poor housing in France, recalls the Foundation in its report made public on Tuesday. The organization of the fight against exclusion intends to weigh into the political debate in view of the presidential election.

a few weeks of the presidential election, the Fondation Abbé Pierre (FAP) engages the candidates on the state of poor housing in France, the theme is relatively absent in the debate since the beginning of the campaign. “We want to show that solutions exist to address the problem of housing in this election period and at a time when some tend to drop the arms,” writes its president, Raymond Etienne, in the preface to a long report on the subject. “We want to see what the candidates have in the belly,” says Christophe Robert, general delegate of the Fondation Abbé Pierre.

Because year after year, the organization of the fight against exclusion made the same observation: “the France has more poor people, homeless, evicted, or who suffer from energy poverty”. The Foundation recalls the figures that it had already unveiled in the past year : there are 4 million inadequately housed in France, and more than 12 million who are in a fragile state, likely to switch in poor housing. All in all, so nearly 15 million people affected by the housing crisis (one million of them fall into the two categories, see graphic at end of article). “And yet, these figures are probably below the reality, because we rely on the latest data from the Insee, which date back to 2013,” said Manuel Domergue, who has led the drafting of the report.

Marine Le Pen, not invited

To weigh in the electoral campaign, the Foundation has listed fifteen ideas to resolve this crisis. “We need to change our strategy,” says Christophe Robert. “If we put in place a great plan of national action, we can solve the problem of the homeless in five or ten years”, he thinks. In his report of some 400 pages, the Foundation recommends, in particular, to mobilize the private park, to make more transparent the responsibilities of social housing or go further in the rent. These measures will be presented to five candidates this Tuesday at the espace Grande Arche de la Defense in Puteaux (92). Apart from the minister of housing Emmanuel Cosse, will be invited Jean-Luc Mélenchon, candidate of “the France insubordinate”, the winner of the primary to the left, Benoît Hamon, the other candidate running! Emmanuel Macron, the ecologist Yannick Jadot and the candidate LR François Fillon. In turn, each will have to decide this afternoon on the su bject for half an hour.

On the other hand, Marine Le Pen is not on the guest list. “National preference, access to schooling for foreign children…We have too many deep disagreements with the party. This is the reason why we have not invited,” says its deputy delegate general for Christophe Robert, while stating that the Foundation “does not despise the electorate of the FN,” and that it remains open to discussion with the right-wing party “in the media”.

Some proposals in the candidates

This initiative is in line with its campaign launched in September last. Entitled “We wait “what”, it aimed to develop effective solutions for lifting people out of precarious situations, through an online platform. Unlike 2012, the Foundation will not sign the “social contract” for the candidates this year. At the time, François Hollande, François Bayrou, Eva Joly and Jean-Luc Mélenchon were committed to produce up to 500,000 units per year, of which 150,000 are social. Five years later, the contract has not been filled by the outgoing president. The number of housing starts each year has never exceeded the 400,000, and the goal of 150,000 public housing in the year is far from being achieved, the Foundation.

Difficult to compare measurements of candidates in the action plan proposed by the Fondation Abbé Pierre, because the programs are still, for some, in the course of development. Nevertheless, all of them have already advanced some ideas to resolve the housing crisis. For example, Emmanuel Macron offers a “lease mobility” shorter but less protective to facilitate the access of the most fragile to the rental. To fight against energy poverty, the candidate of Europe-Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV) Yannick Jadot offers to renovate 750.000 units per year, compared to some 500,000 currently.

The socialist candidate, freshly appointed Benoît Hamon wants to strengthen sanctions against municipalities that do not comply with the law concerning the provision of social housing when Jean-Luc Mélenchon wants to increase the number of places in emergency accommodation. On the right, François Fillon list several measures in its program, including the implementation of a”fast track” process to reduce the period of expulsion. Not sure that this proposal enchants the Fondation Abbé Pierre. The body calls for more prevention, support and accommodation rather than expulsion. To recall, the security forces had proceeded to 14.400 evictions in 2015, 24% in 2016.


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