Lucienne apprehended on March 31. And for good reason, at 21, she risks eviction from her home with the end of the winter break. This supervisor in an agricultural high school in Ille-et-Vilaine found herself faced with the impossibility of paying her rent following a regularization of energy charges… She must reimburse more than 1,200 €, in addition to her monthly payments usual. “I was afraid of finding myself on the street, I had a depression”, confides the one who earns 1,000 € per month. Lucienne is now followed by a social worker. Like her, there are thousands of them who do not know the arsenal of possible remedies to avoid deportation.
Setting up a timeline
Marie Rothhahn, project manager at the Abbé-Pierre Foundation, regrets this: “Those who call our hotline (1) are helpless. They don’t know who to turn to and don’t understand the procedures. His team then directs them to social workers and associations, able to take steps with them.
As for Lucienne, it may happen that housing assistance is suspended by the Family Allowance Fund, for example. An appeal is possible, the Alur law of 2014 providing that recipients can benefit from it even if they are unpaid.
“Often, faced with the amount of debt, people just say they can’t pay,” adds Marie Rothhahn. They don’t know they can repay it gradually. However, setting a deadline is the first step in showing good faith in honoring the lease. “It can come from the tenant, the owner or the lessor. It’s proof that we’re trying to repay, even if it’s only part of the rent. »
Financial aid exists
Lucienne can apply for the Housing Solidarity Fund (FSL). “The FSL repays the debt and allows people to stay in housing. It’s either a grant or a loan,” explains the project manager. The criteria for awarding this aid vary according to the departments, which Marie Rothhahn deplores, who sees in it an inequality of access to rights. “Unfortunately, and even if it is illegal, the lessor can refuse to be paid with the FSL, she adds. He will prefer to go to the end of the litigation to put the tenant out. »
Another frequent recourse: the filing of an over-indebtedness file with the Banque de France. It can then grant a moratorium on the repayment of the debt, a schedule or cancellation of it.
These different remedies can take time. “I’m waiting, but at least my expulsion is blocked for the moment,” comforts Lucienne. In 2021, out of 30,000 households at risk, 12,000 were evicted following a judgment (2).