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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: « Les jeunes sont les grands oubliés de la loi Duflot »

by Pierre Duquesne

“Youth has been forgotten by the Duflot Act”

Translated Thursday 5 September 2013, by Dim Arc

In ever more precarious situations, young people have less chance to access housing, in the private sector as well as in council housing. This alert is given by Jean-Luc Berho, former CFDT leader of the project 1% Logement.

The access of young people to housing is the subject of the Inxauseta congress, held today (Aug. 30th) in the Basque city of Bunus. “We expect to think particularly about the connection between housing and employment within this age group”, explains Jean-Luc Berho, former CFDT leader of the project 1% Logement, which initiated this “summer university for housing”. “The President made young people’s employment one of his priorities. Yet we notice that housing is a real obstacle to employment”, the trade unionist observes, mentioning a recent study led by the Crédoc. According to it, 500 000 job offers were refused in the past five years due to reasons linked with housing issues. This limited occupational mobility mainly affects young people, “at a time when 88% of recruitments are unstable”.

“The drive towards labour market flexibility gives them less access to housing in the private sector, in which the owners are ever more demanding”, Jean-Luc Berho continues. The glitch is that social housing struggles to counterbalance it. Nowadays, only 11% of council housing beneficiaries are 30 years old or younger, whereas they were 25% in 1973. “This is a vicious circle. As they are in precarious situations, the housing turnover is higher in this group of age, which results in rent increases in the private sector.”

This is particularly true for small apartments, where rents continue to increase out of all proportion, especially in Paris and Marseille. Rents for studio flats have risen by 10% in the current school year, according to the barometer location-etudiant.fr. “How is it that the word “youth” appears only once within the 152 pages of the draft law for a better access to housing and a renewed town planning?” Jean-Luc Berho asks. And he urges French deputies to bring youth back in the bill produced by Cécile Duflot, that they will start to discuss in the Assembly on September, 10th.

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