Housing benefit in France?

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Housing benefit in France?


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Old 19th March 2010, 01:18 PM
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Default Housing benefit in France?

I have a friend living in France who has asked for help. She is French, has lost her job, and is on unemployment benefit. She wants me to help her with the cost of buying a flat, as she says when her benefit comes to an end she will be homeless. Does France have a housing benefit system like the UK's? I'd like to help but find it hard to beleive that people are made homeless once their benefit stops. Many thanks in advance

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Old 19th March 2010, 02:32 PM
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There is very definitely a housing system that should keep your friend from becoming completely homeless. She needs to go to the mairie of the town where she is living to find out what is available and to get the process started. It will depend on her particular circumstances, whether she has been enrolled in the social insurances system, family size, other sources of income, etc. etc.
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Old 20th March 2010, 02:44 PM
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When unemployment benefits cease, this doesn't mean the claimant isn't entitled to other state support. Assuming your friend isn't turning down job offers, has previously worked for a long enough period, hasn't alternative sources of income, and doesn't have any other dispute with the authorities that disqualifies her from applying, she will be sent a form a month before unemployment benefits cease to claim the ASS (Allocation de Solidarité Spécifique). That's how things worked a couple of years ago anyway. If she is not entitled to that, there is the RMI (Revenu Minimum d'Insertion) safety net. Not massive sums, but there is additional housing benefit support and child support (if applicable).

There is also a system, when a tenant (who fits the criteria) is unable to find a rental deposit, where a third party non-profit organisation lends this free of interest, paying the landlord direct. Obviously s/he needs to demonstrate that s/he hasn't the funds sitting in the bank.

As Bev suggests she should go and see the Assistante Sociale at the local Mairie. (In small towns this is often just one morning or afternoon per week - they move around a larger area).

If a friend is telling you that she has no entitlements after her unemployment benefits cease, then that is simply not true. However it may well be the case that reduced entitlements mean that she can no longer afford her current home, and will have to look for either cheaper privately rented accommodation, or the local authority equivalent of council accommodation (the subsidised HLM, Habitation à Loyer Modéré).

People in France are far more inclined to rent in the first place, rather than buy. Getting a property loan is particularly hard here. If you're not employed you've no chance.

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Old 24th March 2010, 09:31 PM
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In addition to all the above good advice, the CAF are the people who sort out extra benefits, which include APL - allocation personnalisee de location - & who can point you (her) in the right direction to get the up-front caution & guarantee in place.

For info; RMI has been replaced by something - can't remember what - but it amounts to the same thing. Again, it's the CAF (& if necessary an assistant social) who can sort it.

H

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