A first residence right away thanks to community service

In the Essonne department, the association “Solidarités nouvelles pour le logement” is opening a new meeting place for volunteers, social workers, and the people they help. Their goal is to provide housing for the underprivileged.

Environment and Biodiversity

France, Essonne, France

Jean Quéau

15,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2004/11/30

Project leader

Solidarités Nouvelles pour le Logement - Essonne

« The association's work has been recognised and has already made great stride in Paris and the Hauts-de-Seine and Yvelines departments. The operation's personnel and players are serious and motivated. »

Jean Quéau

When helping those in highly uncertain situations to work their way back into social and professional life, the first step is finding a place to live. But by definition these people are not immediately capable of paying any type of rent whatsoever. To fight this harsh reality, the departmental associations Solidarités nouvelles pour le logement (SNL) were founded several years ago in the Ile-de-France region. Their work consists in recovering and fitting out empty housing units where applicant families stay until they can find permanent housing. SNL housing is available only temporarily, but the people staying there receive social support and assistance in finding a job before moving on to a new lasting home.

The need for a permanent site

Backed up by professional social workers, over 400 volunteers split into “solidarity groups” share their time and energy to come up with appropriate solutions for each family. In 2003, 336 households, with a total of 835 people, found housing through the associations' efforts.
SNL is established in 46 towns in the Essonne department. It has centres in northern and southern Essonne (in Massy, Dourdan and Étampes) where volunteers, social workers, and beneficiaries can come together. However, there is nothing in between. To prevent additional problems related to transport, the Veolia foundation, in partnership with the Fondation de France, decided to help this association open a new centre in Boissy-le-Sec. It will include a small office and a meeting room. The ten local solidarity groups have already brought together 88 temporary housing units and ten more permanent apartments.