Ukraine: refugee accommodation organized – Social housing

Anticipating a massive influx of refugees fleeing the war into Ukraine, the European Union created a system of temporary protection, granting them a special status (on this issue, see the Instruction of March 10, 2022, NOR: INTV2208095).

At the center, of course, is the question of the accommodation of these refugees.

Following the momentum of national solidarity, on March 8, 2022, the government created an official platform: “I am committed to Ukraine”, designed to support citizens who want to host Ukrainian refugees in France.

This platform, launched on an emergency basis to guide private initiatives, required the intervention of prefects to structure the proposal and organize institutional relay races.

This second step takes the form of a joint instruction from the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Ecological Transition in charge of housing and the Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Interior responsible for citizenship.

This as of yet unpublished instruction is aimed at organizing the reception of refugees, then their accommodation and “as soon as possible” their escort to their place of residence.

Prefects are asked to comply with the following two rules:

  • organize accommodation offered to persons under temporary protection;

  • organize access to housing and mobilize the provision of housing for citizens.

Arrange accommodation offered to beneficiaries of temporary protection

First of all, this is the issue of maintaining the receiving capacity under customary law. In this regard, it is stated that persons benefiting from the established temporary protection are not intended to be placed under either the National Reception System (NRS) reserved for asylum-seekers or this general emergency accommodation.

It also mentions, prior to the granting of temporary protection, the immediate departure in “separate accommodation” and for a very short period (two to three nights) of new arrivals, then, after granting this temporary status, the transfer of refugees to emergency housing ad hoc (collective and supplemented by social support).

This is an emergency accommodation for persons under temporary protection, which should be organized at the departmental level, and in case of saturation of the need for admission, at the regional or even national level, will be carried out “pending their access to housing or other form of permanent housing” .

It is indicated that the emergency, which may last for several months, will require the mobilization of local authorities and associated operators.

Organize access to housing and mobilize housing supply for citizens

This organization responds to the situation with displaced Ukrainian families who have no prospect of returning.

Administrative support (access to rights, various registrations) will be required, as well as social support (education, integration, job search, etc.).

An integration process is then envisaged to enable them to move from housing to housing.

It is related to the censusacross specialized platform: “I am committed to Ukraine”) housing provided by partners from public authorities (social landlords, local authorities, institutional players, real estate agencies and private developers).

It also involves taking into account the initiatives of individuals. This is referred to as “civic housing” offerings.

Mobilization of all housing by government partners

This approach, which will have to be mediated by the association, will promote “full and autonomous housing” available for at least three months:

  • either free of charge (or for a symbolic copy), which leads to the signing between the owner and the association of a loan agreement (commodat) or a temporary agreement on precarious occupation;

  • or whose rent will, to the extent possible, be covered by housing assistance.

The association will then sign a lease agreement with the owner and then a sublease agreement with the beneficiary household.

Model agreements are developed by the National Housing Information Agency (ANIL).

Accommodation of citizens in private houses

This situation involves cohabitation between host families and refugees (we are then talking about “voluntarily displaced persons”), organized by the operator of the departmental association (who will be responsible, in particular, for selecting hosts according to their motivation).

A tripartite agreement is signed (host / association / beneficiary), which indicates the duration of the stay, as well as all obligations that fall on the guests (rules of life, possible participation in expenses, etc.).

Financing

Even if free housing should be preferred, funding schemes are envisaged, with state transfer as a last resort (for a limited period of 200 euros per housing per month).

In particular, for all rental/sublease housing, rental mediation by an approved association is expected to be €2,200 per space created per year.

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