French families take in 1,400 refugees rentfree to “boost” social integration

0
7

The 1,400 refugees will live alongside a French family for a minimum of three months and for a maximum period of one year, and will not be expected to pay rent. 

The Socialist housing minister urged citizens to welcome refugees into their homes back in August, when the European migrant crisis reached an unprecedented peak. 

She said: “The aim is to welcome refugees in a humane and dignified manner and to help them build a new life in France.” 

The “social experiment” will last for an initial period of two years, and only “official refugees” – i.e. people whose asylum claim has been processed and accepted – will be allowed to take part. 

Penniless refugees will not be charged any rent, but those with some revenue will be expected to contribute a small amount to household bills or expenses. All, however, will be given their own bedroom, Mrs Cosse said. 

Eleven pro-migrant associations will assist the 1,361 refugees throughout their stay, and will provide them with both emotional and administrative support: 846 people will be rehoused in a private home located in the Paris region, and 515 will be sent to live in a home outside of the capital. 

The associations will be paid =801,500 (£1,270) per migrant and per year, and will be in charge of recruiting volunteers and of placing each refugee into a private home, Christine Laconde, the director general of the French NGO Samu Social Paris, said. 

They will also help the refugees with their paperwork and organise language classes to help them improve their French. 

Nathanael Molle, who works for the pro-migrant group Singa, one of the associations taking part in the scheme, added that refugees who lived with a family, and not in a reception centre, significantly improved their chances of finding work: “Some 44 per 

cent of refugees found a job thanks to their adoptive family.”