In France, more than 30,000 asylum seekers who have the right to be housed in special centers (CADA) are being denied this right in violation of article L348-1 of the social and family code and have to wait on average 13 months before being housed in these centers. Thousands of asylum seekers are then forced to homelessness with or without an allowance of €10,83 per day in violation of articles 13 and 14 of the European directive 2003/9/EC. They survive from food handout from charity organizations and every night have to request by phone a bed in a homeless shelter which are often already full.

In the city of Rennes, dozens of asylum seekers became homeless. On February 25th 2011, the NGO “Droit au Logement” occupied an abandoned government building (280 rue de Fougeres) and opened it to 80 asylum seekers. On March 1st 2011, the prefect obtained without any hearing, a possession order from a judge of tribunal of Rennes (art.808 of the code of civil procedure).

On March 4th 2011, 13 asylum seekers and 5 children, submitted an application for interim measures (art.39 of the rules of the Court) to request the suspension of the possession order of March 1st 2011 and to have the prefect offer them immediately appropriate housing (see below). They are represented by Me Melanie Le Verger (Rennes). She argued that the living conditions of the applicants in France are a violation of article 3 of the Convention (M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece (30696/09)) and the decision of the judge not to hold hearing and not to communicate to the applicant the legal brief of the prefect are violations of article 6.

On March 10th 2011, the Court requested information on the legal remedies offered to the applicants to have access to decent living conditions and what measures will be taken by the prefect to ensure that the applicants have appropriate living conditions. On April 8th 2011, the agent of the government replied there is no emergency legal remedies available for homeless asylum seekers benefiting from the allowance and that the prefect gives priority in housing to sick individuals and families with babies. He added that on March 16th 2011, 8 applicants on 18 have offers of housing.

On April 29th 2011, Me Melanie Le Verger replied that 7 applicants are still living in the occupied building, 1 applicant is living in a hotel, 2 in CADA, 5 are housed in waiting centers (“pre-CADA”) and 2 have offers for housing in CADA. She also mentioned 14 new applicants and added that due to the refusal of the prefect to offer housing to new asylum seekers, the building was now housing 140 asylum seekers. According to the statistics of the prefect office in Rennes, there is  811 individuals and 93 families with children seeking asylum without any permanent offer of housing (March 30th 2011) and on those only 192 asylum seekers and 22 families are benefiting from the daily allowance.

On May 2nd 2011 at 06:00 am, riot police officers entered the occupied building, detained asylum seekers in their rooms and checked their identity, before forcing them out of the building.

On May 6th, the Court requested information on the 7 applicants who were still living in the occupied building. On May 25th the agent of the government informed the Court that these applicants were living in a hotel waiting for their housing in CADA. On June 16th 2011, Me Melanie Le Verger informed the Court that on June 15th 2011, the 7 applicants, Mr. A. from Somalia who is physically disabled, Ms. S. from China who is suffering from severe Hepatitis C and her husband and Ms. and Mr. E from China who have 2 babies of one and two years old are all homeless again.

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