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Homeless may now sue state in France & Europe: Test Case

Test case in France finds new EU laws permit homeless citizens to sue state for failure to provide housing. (Report on France2 Television News, 22-5-08)

The administrative tribunal of Paris has found in favour of a family in sub-standard housing, whose application to the regional authorities (la prefecture) for better housing had been rejected.

Minister for Housing, Christine Boutin, commented that this legal decision demonstrated that the relevant new laws of 5 March 2007 were working.

"This is evidence that the law works, despite criticism that the right to sue for housing would turn out to be too complicated," she said on France2 television.

Calling the matter urgent, in an interim administrative tribunal the judge in chambers put aside an unfavourable decision made on 3 March by the Paris Mediation Commission, which had refused to consider a request for accommodation which had been made by a single woman who was raising two children alone.

This means that Namizata Fofana will be able to put her case again before the Mediation Commission.

If the Commission agrees that she has a case, the regional authorities (le prefet) will find her housing "within the next six months", Christine Boutin explained. And, if the applicant does not have accommodation by 1 December 2008, she will be able to sue the French state.

In all countries of the EU citizens are entitled to housing as a right, although this is a very new idea for Britain.
It is sad to realise how far from the provision of this most basic of rights have drifted Australia, Canada and the USA.

[English language acccount of case reported in France on 20/05/2008 - translation by Sheila Newman]

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Comments

This post is a good news for me, why? for our country to lessen the burden of homelessness. It is a good act for those parent who can't provide a home for their family. I am hoping that this would be the start for the progress of our country. I have read lots of essays about homeless and it is really heart breaking.

Editorial Comment: Thank you for your thoughtful comment. If there happen to be any links to a commercial web-site within this post that I may have overlooked, then possibly some site visitors may be motivated to visit. - JS

Any Council who had refused to consider a request for accommodation made by a single woman who is raising two children alone should be removed from power. Its their duty to make sure that any child is looked after and has a roof over their heads.

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Thank you for the article, I must admit the news is really consoling. The problem of homeless people and especially children is really dreadful all over the world; what is the little child to do if he doesn't have home and food? I'll use the info for my writing service.

Editorial comment: And thank you, Haley. If you can make the effort to post a complementary and thoughtful comment, then, for our part, we can permit a small amount of free advertising. Good Luck - JS

Extremely intriguing post. This is a truly absorbing article. I will drop by again very soon. Thanks a lot

Editorial comment: Date of publication changed from 2010-11-17 19:28 +1000 (which seems unlikely) to force comment to the top of list. Candobetter doesn't endorse the product that the commentator has linked to.

Being a landmark case, it is really a very interesting read. But I guess this kind of scenario is not applicable to some other countries especially the developing ones.

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It is very bad when state refuses to carry out and accept legal claims of citizens. As for me, this is illegal practice! i suppose, the state has to work for citizens, not vice versa! People have their own rights! And these rights should be provided!