Native politicians and charities in France have expressed issues a couple of French authorities plan to encourage 1000’s of homeless folks and asylum seekers to depart the Paris space earlier than subsequent yr’s Olympic Video games and transfer to different areas of the nation to unlock lodging within the capital.
The information company Agence France-Presse reported that since mid-March, the federal government has requested native prefects to create momentary reception centres in each French area besides the north and Corsica, which might unlock area in accommodations usually used as emergency lodging centres in and round Paris.
The housing minister, Olivier Klein, informed parliament this month that quite a few accommodations didn’t wish to function emergency lodging for homeless folks or asylum seekers this autumn as a result of they anticipated an inflow of tourists in the course of the rugby World Cup, and the identical was true for subsequent summer time’s Olympics. Maud Gatel, a centrist MP from the MoDem celebration, mentioned 5,000 beds in emergency lodging could be misplaced.
Underneath the plan, homeless individuals who voluntarily left Paris or surrounding areas could be housed for 3 weeks within the momentary regional reception centres, paid for by the state, earlier than being guided in the direction of lodging in the identical area that met their wants.
Bruz, a city of 18,000 folks close to Rennes in Brittany, has been designated to deal with one of many reception centres. It’s scheduled to obtain 50 folks each three weeks from September. Nevertheless, its mayor, Philippe Salmon, mentioned he was not in favour of the centre being arrange there, in what he referred to as “unfit” situations.
Salmon criticised the state of the land the place the centre was to be positioned, which had been described as a wasteland close to practice tracks. “The bottom is polluted by heavy metals and petrol. For us, these should not dignified situations by which to deal with folks,” he mentioned. Salmon needed to know the way the state would deal with any potential pressure.
The mayor informed the France Inter radio station that native politicians had not been consulted. After Yannick Morez, the mayor of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, a seaside city in western France, resigned this month after dying threats and an arson assault on his residence over an asylum seeker centre.
Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, mentioned: “There’s completely no query of chasing anybody from Paris. None in any respect. No person might be pressured to depart, no one might be obliged to go the opposite finish of France.
“I’m offended about this being pushed on to town [authority] as a result of it’s not our position or accountability and we already play greater than our half to find pressing lodging for susceptible folks. Each week we’re placing households into properties.”
She mentioned it was a longstanding downside “completely unrelated to the Olympic Video games” and she or he had been asking the federal government to give you a plan for years.
“Paris will proceed to play its half, however it’s for the state to resolve this. For years I’ve requested the federal government to give you a plan and so they haven’t.”
Hidalgo mentioned Rémi Ferraud, a senator and former mayor of the tenth arrondissement in northern Paris the place many immigrants collect across the Gare du Nord, deliberate to submit a draft legislation on the finish of June calling for a nationwide plan to “share” the distribution of individuals from Paris round France.
Metropolis corridor says there are 150,000 folks in momentary lodging within the Paris area, Île-de-France, and an estimated 3,000 folks, principally single males and long-term homeless, slept tough within the capital.
Organising reception centres and discovering homeless folks and immigrants lodging exterior Paris was an answer but it surely wanted to be correctly organised and wanted state assist for native authorities and the homeless individuals who have been willingly relocated of their areas.
Hidalgo mentioned the state’s failure to deal with the issue had created a “chaotic scenario” that was fuelling far-right rhetoric.
Emmanuel Grégoire, Paris’s deputy mayor in control of city planning, mentioned: “The housing of homeless folks and migrants is right down to the state. We do greater than our half and have opened locations providing pressing lodging for people who find themselves notably susceptible and are our accountability together with households with younger kids, however we can’t do that alone and it’s not our job.”
He added: “It’s not true to counsel there would be the mass expulsion of individuals from Paris [before the Olympic Games].”