Homelessness reaching crisis levels in France
Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:28PM
Thousands of homeless people are living in the streets of the French capital Paris. And with the economic crisis, the numbers are growing by day. The French government has promised to take over empty apartments in big cities and rent them out to families who need a home. But charities say this solution may not work and instead worsen the housing crisis in France. Anustup Roy has this report from Paris.For more than 130,000 French citizens, the roads are where they live and sleep. For decades, the homeless in France were single men, living beyond the borders of society. But that has now been changed as a result of a four-year long economic crisis. The housing shortages have led to demonstrations in Paris. Under French law, tenants cannot be thrown out onto the streets between November and March when winter sweeps through the country. But come April and they are back on the streets: a problem that’s becoming bigger with each passing year. Meanwhile, in the posh districts of French cities, tens of thousands of apartments have been lying vacant for almost an entire year. It is in the rich neighborhoods like this one where the French government says it wants to take over empty apartments and then give them to the homeless to solve the housing crisis. But charities say, it is easier said than done. Housing problems have considerably dropped in many European capitals where politicians have taken tough measures. It is now up to French politicians to show their determination and find a way for respecting the people’s basic right to safe housing.