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Enforceable right to housing

The French law of 5 March 2007, which introduced an enforceable right to be housed (the DALO law) charged prefects with the task of making the social housing application process more efficient by allocating accommodation to applicants deemed to have priority.

This responsibility is exercised under the supervision of an administrative judge.

  • What is the enforceable right to housing?

    • Any person in difficulty, whose application for housing has not been satisfied, may apply to a mediation committee and then, in certain cases, lodge an appeal with an administrative court if they wish to pursue their application.

    • The state thereby guarantees an enforceable right to housing.

  • Who can benefit from this right?

    • Under the French Construction Housing Code [Code de la construction et de l’habitation] the right to housing is guaranteed by the state, for persons who fulfil the following conditions:

      -Ÿ who have French nationality or a right of residence or a valid residence permit;

      -Ÿ who are not be able to house themselves by their own resources in decent, independent accommodation (persons of no fixed abode, or threatened with eviction without having alternative accommodation to go to, or housed in hotel accommodation providing social housing, or housed in premises that are unfit for human habitation, applicants for social housing, etc.);

      -Ÿ who satisfy the conditions laid down for applicants for social housing.

  • What is the procedure?

    • An application must be made to the committee, which then makes a ruling within a period of 3 months.

    • If it considers that the application should be given priority status (which means that accommodation must be allocated urgently to the applicant), the application is sent to the prefect.

    • The prefect then has a period of three months in which to make proposals that are appropriate for the applicant's needs.

    • After this time, if the applicant has not been offered any suitable accommodation, they may lodge an appeal with the administrative court.