French cabinet adopts homeless bill

17th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 17, 2007 (AFP) - The French cabinet on Wednesday adopted a bill -- introduced after a wave of protests by the homeless -- that would create a legally enforceable right to housing for all.President Jacques Chirac, who announced the measure on New Year's Eve after a headline-grabbing campaign that saw tent camps for the homeless spring up across French cities, said it marked a "most considerable social progress."Under the proposal the most vulnerable people -- the homeless, those facing eviction,

PARIS, Jan 17, 2007 (AFP) - The French cabinet on Wednesday adopted a bill -- introduced after a wave of protests by the homeless -- that would create a legally enforceable right to housing for all.

President Jacques Chirac, who announced the measure on New Year's Eve after a headline-grabbing campaign that saw tent camps for the homeless spring up across French cities, said it marked a "most considerable social progress."

Under the proposal the most vulnerable people -- the homeless, those facing eviction, or living in sub-standard accommodation -- would be able to have their right to housing legally enforced from December 2008.

From 2012, the right will be extended to all those who would normally be entitled to social housing but whose applications have gone unanswered.

Chirac said the state's goal of building 120,000 new social housing units per year was "within our reach" but that all players involved needed to "step up their efforts to ensure that everyone can find a decent home.

The bill, which still has to go before parliament, would also create a new repatriation and resettlement package to allow poor immigrants who have no family ties in France to return home.

France has an estimated 100,000 homeless people, according to advocacy groups, and their presence is very visible on the streets of Paris and other cities. In addition some 900,000 are reckoned to live in campsites, hotels and shelters while two million have sub-standard housing.

Both the main contenders for the presidential election in April, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy -- of the ruling centre-right -- and his rival, the Socialist Segolene Royal, have pledged state action to tackle the problem.

Copyright APF

Subject: French News

 

 

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