France's winter housing 'truce' ends, advocates warn of record evictions

Housing advocates in France are sounding the alarm over what they say is a worrying increase in the number of people who could end up kicked out of their housing as the yearly winter eviction moratorium comes to an end. People who are unable to pay rent are once facing police evictions and many will find themselves on the street for lack of other housing options.

The annual five-month winter housing truce came to an end Sunday, and advocates are warning that some 140,000 people are facing eviction notices in 2024.

“For households at the bottom of the ladder, it’s difficult to meet their needs at the end of the month, and in the end, the risks of not paying rent can turn into legal procedures and evictions by police,” Manuel Domergue, research director at the Abbé Pierre foundation that works on housing and poverty issues, told RFI.

The number of evictions has increased dramatically in recent years, with a record number of 21,500 evictions carried out in 2023.

This was 23 percent higher than the previous year, and seven times more than 30 to 40 years ago, says Domergue, who points to rising rent prices as well as inflation and increased energy prices as reasons that people cannot pay their rent.

Landlord-friendly law

He and other advocates also point to a law passed in July that makes it easier for landlords to serve eviction notices and criminalizes squatters living in empty buildings.

Read more on RFI English

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