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374 families from Rue de la Banque: the ministry's glib talk; a second night in the streets

DAL-CDSL Communiqué

Paris, December 15, 2008 – 12 pm

Despite the cold, 55 families have spent a second night camping out under tarpaulins, and on mattresses placed on the pavement.

The police, who were absent all day on Monday, reappeared on Tuesday at 7 am, during off-peak period because the families go to work from 5.30 am.

Around 20 police officers were present.

However, profiting from the moment of inattention, the campaigners and families present immediately regrouped and sat on their mattresses, in the event that the authorities were tempted to dismantle the camp. Half of the police force left the area around 11 am.

A letter has been sent to the prime minister, demanding that the deadlock in the situation be broken, the requisition law be applied, as well as for the development of property rentals through non-profit intermediaries, or guaranteed rental payments for home owners who rent their properties; to rehouse the 233 families currently staying in rue de la banque, and for concrete intervention in the departments of Ile de France (including Paris), which are in crisis, and where nearly 10,000 households should be urgently rehoused by the Prefects, after being recognised as eligible for priority.

The 374 homeless families, temporarily housed in hotels, hostels, in the homes of strangers, had camped on the pavement of rue de la banque, until December 14, 2007, when an agreement with the Housing Ministry on rehousing within a year was signed. And, it was in accordance with their promise, that the tents had been demounted on the same day.

One year later, the Housing Ministry has not kept its promise:

* Of the 374 families, 70 have been successfully rehoused by the state, 71 have been rehoused by other channels mobilised by the DAL (Right to Housing) and families, and 233 are still without a home.

* Housing offers are becoming increasingly rare, 19 offers have been made within the last 3 months.

* Article 24 of the Boutin Law, which regionalises the rehousing offers for households identified as eligible for the DALO (Opposable Right to Housing), also threatens the continuation of the rehousing process. If this article is adopted, the Prefects of Paris, and the Hauts de Seine could send people of these departments who are poorly housed to other departments, where the housing crisis is equally grave.

* The Housing Minister welcomed the fine of 12,000 imposed on the DAL (Right to Housing)

The families are ready to spend another night on the pavements. Children, ill people and pregnant women will sleep in the warmth.

We demand an appointment with Matignon to:

* immediately rehouse the 241 families of rue de la banque, and all DALO seekers who received positive responses from the Mediation commission, and that they be rehoused in their department, if they desire.

* the withdrawal of Article 24, and in general, the Boutin Law.

*the dropping of all legal actions against associations and homeless people, in the name of the article that represses the disposal of cumbersome items on public thoroughfares, and which justified the conviction of the DAL.

* the application of the Requisition Law and the rental of thousands of private houses, based on the model in place in London, and more recently that by the Paris town hall, under the heading solidarity rental with guarantees.

Support Gathering around 9 pm, on the spot

Thank you for your support and please pass it on...

No, to forced relocations; remain in the same department!

Minister Boutin is trying to place the blame on families who have refused to be rehoused. 85 offers have not materialised, because the lessors have refused to rehouse 55 families, and because the families have refused 30 offers, sometimes the same housing, because they are often too far from their original community and they would be unable to arrive at their jobs at 6 am.

In fact, the Minister wanted the families of the rue de la banque to leave their department of origin. This is the same fate reserved for households declared priority for the DALO, if Article 24 is adopted as it is under the Boutin Law, whose withdrawal, we are, therefore, demanding. This forced relocation is unacceptable, because the rich departments, Paris, and the Hauts Seine will get rid of their poorly housed inhabitants, who will take the place of local demanders eligible for priority housing.

Each prefecture should put in place rehousing means; by producing social housing, renting private housing and or by applying the Requisition Law.

Signez la pétition Sign the petition in support of the DAL: there are already 700 signatures...


Vidéos reportages M6 / France 3 / AFP

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