This is the 142nd proposal of Marine Le Pen’s program and it can be summed up in one line: “Reserving social housing as a non-retroactive priority for the French and mobilizing for the public that needs it most.” Without repercussion, really? In her special issue on the family, however, the Nazi Party Rally candidate gives a different speech: “The implementation of national priority for housing with at least one parent in France will quickly bring the 620,000 social housing units occupied by foreigners back onto the market, according to INSEE figures for 2017.” Putting it back on the market means, very concretely, canceling the rent of these households and evicting them. However, if an HLM apartment is occupied by an average of 2.6 people, “This would mean removing them from their homes, with the help of the police if necessary, and thereby depriving some 1.6 million people in a regular situation in the area, including children,” argues Frédérique Lahaye, head of the housing division at think tank Terra Nova, in a note published Thursday entitled: “Marine Le Pen and housing: the grim reality of national priority”. “What would become of them? Would they find themselves on the streets or in transit camps awaiting return to their countries of origin? Marine Le Pen says nothing about it. emphasizes the head of this social-democratic research institute.
The RN candidate would like to apply the same measure to students. “For student housing, the policy will be the same: Managers of the public student housing stock have indicated that approximately 25% of their places are occupied by foreigners, or approximately 90,000 units. I will give them priority to French students.” A measure that will “to support the middle and lower classes, for whom the placement of a child after graduation is often an unbearable burden”, she argued. If Jean-Marie Le Pen’s daughter is elected on April 24th, around 1.7 million people legally residing in France risk being left on the streets.
On the side of the front party, we resolutely reject any eviction project: “putting it back on the market does not mean vacating it, it means that when these dwellings are vacated by their occupants, they will be given priority to the French“Explains Jean-Philippe Tanguy, Marine Le Pen’s deputy campaign manager. A void that would be created either by an exit from the social park or by the expulsion from the territory of foreigners in a regular situation who would no longer have anything to do there,”for example because they have been unemployed for more than a year‘ the person in charge specified. However, the first case has become rare, as evidenced by the low “turnover rate” of apartments in the HLM stock: due to high rents in private stock and difficulties in accessing property, only 8% of apartments are re-let per year, a number which drops to 5% in the Ile-de-France.
“Anyone legally residing in France is entitled to social housing”
Where does the figure of 620,000 social housing units inhabited by foreigners come from? It does not appear in Insee’s last major national housing survey, published in 2017 and based on the 2013 census – the next one is expected in 2022, and given the natural increase in the share of the immigrant population in France’s population, it may If so, assume that the number of suspended households will be revised upwards. Asked by share, Emmanuelle Cosse, President of the Social Union for Housing (USH) and Minister for Housing under Hollande, cites the number of 500,000 foreign households renting HLM out of a total of 1.2 million foreign households living in France. They represent 11% of the roughly 5 million HLM tenants, more than their share of the French population, which is 7.7%. An overrepresentation that Marine Le Pen draws an argument from, believing it leads to a “total deviation from the primary mandate of social housing through a form of foreign priority”. In reality, it is also related to a lack of financial resources “very strong racism”, documented by the tests carried out by researchers of the CNRS or SOS Racisme, Emmanuelle Cosse says: a “French officials with foreign-sounding names are less likely to find accommodation than temporary workers with French names.”
Like her rival Eric Zemmour, the far-right candidate links immigration and scarcity, suggesting that public housing is being swamped by illegal or undocumented immigrants. This is wrong because not only papers but also resources are needed to gain access to subsidized low-rent housing. “It is not a nationality criterion that is required, but a criterion of the administrative situation”, recalls Emmanuelle Cosse. Also “Anyone legally residing in France is entitled to social housing, whether French or a foreigner in a regular situation”. Next, “It is all members of the household who must have a residence permit: for example, if one of the family members is undocumented, the family does not have access to social housing, even if its members work, says the former minister. The list of permitted residence titles is determined by regulation.
case when building new HLMs
On the other hand, it is true that the social park is saturated and demand continues to rise. “I would like to have 500,000 social housing units to meet everyone’s needs. It’s not about the nationality of the people we’re housing, it’s that we have 2.1 million applicants and only put 70,000 to 90,000 additional homes into operation each year.” explains Emmanuelle Cosse. In question: the decline in the construction of new HLM, which also affects the private sector. “The migration flows can mobilize emergency housing in the social housing stock, but the cause of the housing shortage is the supply crisis”, Slice Yannick Borde, Chair of the Procivis network, which specializes in social access to property. For the Mayoress (Horizons, center right) of Saint-Berthevin (Mayenne), Marine Le Pen “consciously maintains a fantasy by making wandering submersion the cause of the current scarcity”, gold “Asylum seekers are cared for in emergency shelters, not in social housing”. For Frederique Lahaye, “Contrary to the reputation of humanization and softening that the candidate for the National Assembly has built up over the months, the extreme right is not being made new: it is in fact a question of singled out immigrants as the cause of the difficulties endured by the majority households with low income”.
The implementation of “national priority”, New name of national preference in candidate’s vocabulary when accessing employment or housing will be by referendum vote, explains the President of the RN in her thematic book on immigration. This will be one of the provisions of the referendum on the migration policy that promotes it. In the same order of ideas, “Family allowances, which are purely a matter of national solidarity, will be reserved for the French.” This project is not only brutal, but unconstitutional: “The Constitutional Council has had several opportunities to express its views on this issue” of national preference and it “believes that foreigners in a regulated situation and nationals have equal rights, especially in social matters”, argues the constitutionalist Dominique Rousseau, who also points out that the president would surrender to the RN “outside the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”. “France would no longer be the country that puts equality at the forefront, but the national priority, we would change the face of France.”
Update on Friday afternoon : Addition of the reaction of the RN speaker who disputes the interpretation of the program by Terra Nova and change of the title.