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Bobigny, how long will the suspension on evictions last?

The Human Chain Association (la Chaîne humaine contre les expulsions des logements ), campaigning against housing evictions, has declared a moratorium on such actions.

Housing. Although the process multiplies in July, organizations and parliament start to come together.

There will be no vacation for the kids: parents are out in the streets. At a press conference, The Human Chain, a Bobigny based association against housing evictions, declared a moratorium on such evictions. Several members of parliament and community workers were present. July is a favorable month for this since school is out and it is difficult to come together. Catherine Peyge, mayor of Bobigny declared these evictions as “barbaric practices.” This is what pushed her, as well as several other communist mayors in the department, to issue orders forbidding such events, unfortunately the Administrative Counsel continues to refuse them each time.

By law, not paying rent leads to being evicted. However, beyond the legal issues there are unique situations that need to be taken into consideration. Farida, for example, is prepared to be kicked out by police. “I don’t know where to go. Things went badly with the lessor. We are ashamed and feel humiliated”, she says. These families were neither deceptive nor dishonest; they just had a stroke of bad luck. The case of Florica Frimu, a Romanian living in France for a dozen years is also very revealing. Along with her husband and two little girls she lives in a house that was in ruins when she arrived. They carefully reconstructed the house. Unfortunately the landlord is dead and the owner was not willing to renegotiate and wants to recuperate the asset that has now taken on new value.

Christine Boutin, ex-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, promised that “there would not be any evictions without alternative housing” As it happens, the situation has not changed. The amount of social housing, especially in the Ile-de-France region, is far inferior to the need. In the majority of evictions, “there is no alternative housing planned just precarious situations”, explains the mayor of Bobigny. Both the financial and social cost for one family staying in a hotel is considerable even if the situation stays favorable in the streets. For the mayor, “it is necessary to build more and declare unlawful the mayors that don’t respect the SRU Act” (law on solidarity and urban renewal).

Charles Poulhès

The Volunteer translator for housing rights without frontiers of IAI who has collaborated on the translation of this text was:

Melissa Slavick