The suitcases were packed with the « strict minimum », plus the chat and the TV, “Too bad for the rest” ; they had spotted the cheapest “eco-class” hotel, “For the continuation, no plan, the studio of the son or the 115, as a last resort”. Under an eviction procedure with an order to leave the premises since mid-April for months of unpaid rent – more than 9,000 euros – Christelle, 50, and her 28-year-old daughter, imagined that the bailiffs and the gendarmes would come to summon them to leave their apartment in the Tarn from this 1is June.
A date that sounds like a chopper for them and thousands of other weakened tenants: that of the end of the winter break – extended by two months this year due to the health crisis linked to Covid-19 – and, with it, resumption of rental evictions. On the advice of her son, Christelle contacted the telephone platform of the Abbé Pierre Foundation: “Without them, we wouldn’t have known that we still had a bit of a break. “ The “Stomach lump” that kept him awake has since abated. ” But for how long ? “
At the other end of the line, in Paris, this Monday, May 31, it is Stéphanie Morel who picks up, in her early sixties, infinite patience, like her long hair. “Hello, eviction prevention? ” : eleven years, since the launch of 0810 001 505 after the 2008 crisis, that this volunteer, social worker at the hospital, and a dozen others – lawyers included – have been on call every afternoon, from Monday to Friday . Thousand three hundred calls per year on average, 70% for unpaid bills.
The platform is intended to be an easily accessible entrance door for “Capture” impoverished tenants, before referring them to the various associations in the housing rights support network, able to ensure local legal monitoring. Placed on the walls: an organization chart and its tangle of boxes, a sort of sad Monopoly of the stages of the expulsion procedure, which give an idea of the obstacle course.
30,000 households threatened with eviction
As each end of the truce approaches, the telephone and the emails do not stop, the pile of call cards to fill thickens. So many stories that tell of a housing crisis that has become endemic: a number of evictions on the rise has continued for more than ten years, which the current crisis threatens to worsen. If the extension of the winter break made it possible to bring it down in 2020, the procedures continued to accumulate: 30,000 households would now be threatened. The Abbé Pierre Foundation fears a ” time bomb ” for the coming years.
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