February 7, 2012

FRANCE: Family Housing? No, You're Too Old!

PARIS, France / Age Village / February 6, 2012


A circular of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development,Transportation and Housing dated January 13, 2012, has infuriated "Les Petits Frères des Pauvres," a French organization that deals with housing for poor seniors. It states that family housing "is not designed specifically for seniors." 


Recalling that discriminating against people because of their age is illegal, the association also said not opening the doors of family pensions to senior citizens, who are particularly affected by poverty in times of crisis, would have "tragic" consequences.


Considering that the age criterion can not be an exclusion of a device housing, the association "Little Brothers" respond to the circular of the Department of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transportation and Housing dated January 13, 2012 indicating that the prefects boarding houses "are not intended specifically for the elderly ... unless otherwise authorized trial basis". "Tool flagship" of the government's housing policy, boarding houses must allow a greater number of those excluded to benefit from housing that meets their needs and their life plan. To avoid loneliness and provide better support, the device is intended for serious social person who can not access to conventional housing. pensions families a device to avoid isolation of the most vulnerable in a crisis context, people over 50 are particularly affected feel the Little Brothers who have set up units of subsidised housing to enable people to access independent housing avoiding a situation of isolation. 


"This form of Accommodation in guesthouse allows autonomy of frail, désociabilisées by providing adequate support. It lifts people out of job insecurity and provides a comforting living environment. I look at these men and women find the little things of everyday life, the well-deserved break people "breathless", "said one official of a boarding house of the Little Brothers.


Arrange for all ages a home in this time of crisis, when "the glaring absence of social housing and market laws are on the streets more and more people, including the elderly, it would be tragic for their exclusion boarding houses. " Nursing homes and other places of higher link of an aging population and welcomed their difficulties in finding appropriate solutions. Physical frailty of these individuals increases their vulnerability institutions for the elderly welcomed a frail population with an average age at entry 85 years, they are not able to get younger people explain Little Brothers. Especially since the life course of these people has made ​​them restive to institutional functions. Every day in the boarding houses of the Little Brothers, emphasizes the association, we share the lives of those too "broken" to be alone in a completely autonomous unit but have no place at this stage of their lives in a retirement home. What should we do? Return them to the street on the pretext that no accommodation is provided for them? The Little Brothers requested that, as was in previous texts, any device access to housing in general and in this case in boarding houses, can not be conditioned on age criteria, thereby excluding those with cumulative conditions of vulnerability. 


Poor housing takes root as the 17th annual report of the Abbé Pierre Foundation of 3.6 million French are not or very poorly housed. And, the report if one assistant all those who are in a situation of fragility of housing in the short or medium term, are a total of 10 million people are affected by the housing crisis!. The scope of financial fragility generated by the cost of housing when you refer to household income, is not negligible for 6.6 million households. "For now, the housing policy appears singularly inadequate and insufficient protective for more modest, his general line of supporting so reckless real estate market mechanisms by imagining that they were able to meet social needs "on the matter says the report. Among its main recommendations, the Foundation requires the raising 25% rate of social housing in towns and rent control in the area of relocation. Abbé Pierre Foundation has taken the opportunity afforded by the proximity of the presidential election to propose candidates to sign a "social contract" on housing. 


Orleans limit rents for more than 62 years living in F2 Aware of this situation the '' HLM Office of Orleans has decided to introduce a "social shield" limiting the rent of some poor and elderly tenants to 20% of their resources. To qualify, tenants must be over 62 years, live in more in F2 and pay rent that exceeds 20% of revenues, including individual housing. A hundred people are affected, often single women, and the rent reduction of 50 euros on average, can reach up to 150 euros for the poor. The shortfall is supported by the housing office. "The share of housing in income is seen as increasingly heavy and certain categories of pensioners are particularly affected, including those who receive only a small retreat because they have suffered from the crisis and long periods of unemployment, "said the President of the Office, the UMP Olivier Carré. This feature stems from a provision of the law of mobilization for housing and the fight against the exclusion of 2009 (Act Molle), whose decrees were released last summer.
(Translation from French by Little Brothers of the Poor)
____________________________________________________________
Credit: Reports and photographs are property of owners of intellectual rights. 
Seniors World Chronicle, a not-for-profit, serves to chronicle and widen their reach.