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The UN Committee on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has published its findings on the case of France examined during its 6 to 24 June 2016 session in Geneva.  

The findings cover how France is doing with regard to implementing the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, detailing positive developments, main areas of concern, and recommendations for action.  The findings, officially known as concluding observations, can be found here

The Committee is concerned by the fact that France is underinvesting in the implementation of its policies for realizing the right to adequate housing.

It remains concerned about housing shortages, including shortages of social housing, affordable housing and emergency shelters, in the State party. It notes with concern that many people still have no fixed abode and that, as a result, new informal settlements are appearing. The Committee finds it equally worrisome that over 40 per cent of requests for emergency shelters have gone unanswered and that, in 80 per cent of the cases in which shelter was provided, it was made available for just one night. 

The Committee notes that the housing construction projects provided for under the multi-year plan for poverty reduction and social inclusion are not sufficient to meet the demand for permanent accommodation. It wishes to draw the State party’s attention to the adverse consequences that a denial of the right to housing has on the exercise of other rights, such as the right to social security and the right to work (art. 11).
The Committee wishes to draw the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 4 on the right to adequate housing and urges the State party to:

(a) Undertake investments, on the basis of geographical priorities, that are proportional in size to the scale of the housing shortage;

(b) Give due priority to persons with no fixed abode and, to that end, devise a strategy, in extensive genuine consultation with those affected, for doing away with homelessness and, above all, for helping people to find permanent housing solutions that will, in turn, enable them to exercise other Covenant rights;

(c) Remove certain obstacles that impede access to housing which are associated with the law on the enforceable right to housing (known as the “DALO” law), such as the requirement regarding the legality of a person’s presence in the country;

(d) Reassess the adequacy of the administrative procedures involved in providing access to social housing, of the eligibility requirements for social housing and housing allowances and of the amounts of those allowances;

(e) Establish a timetable and targets for requisitioning vacant housing;

(f) Extend the coverage of the rent control system to other towns where it is deemed to be necessary;

(g) Introduce mechanisms for the establishment of domicile for persons with no fixed abode or without an address so that they will not be found to be ineligible, by virtue of that status, for social entitlements.

News Type: 
Right to housing