A roof for all, everyone’s struggle
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes - Echirolles
Integration through housing
A longstanding partner of the Fondation Abbé Pierre, the association Un Toit Pour Tous [a roof for all] was born in 1992 from the determination of activists in Grenoble to call out the public authorities regarding housing problems. Today, it has a park of 500 housing units, houses 100 new families every year, and is multiplying its activities to take things further.
‘Between the poorest living in transitional housing and those who are on the streets or housed in slum conditions, 135,000 people below the poverty line are concerned by the issue of inadequate housing in the Isère department—that is 11% of the population,’ says Frédéric Cesbron, director of the association. With its staff of 33, its 300 members and its 60 active volunteers, Un Toit pour Tous wants to change the game through concrete actions built around four internal structures: a social ‘hotel’ (four establishments that welcome young people over the age of 25 for 12-month periods during which social support is provided), a housing and lodging observatory (consultancy to raise awareness on the inadequate housing available to excluded people), Territoires AIVS® (a real estate agency with a social vocation), and Un Toit Pour Tous Développement (acquisition and renovation of housing in 37 municipalities in the Isère department). Provide emergency housing, alert the public authorities, house and produce are the cornerstones of the structure, which relies on a network of 50 associations to find solutions.
100 new rentals every year
The association owns 300 of the 500 housing units in the park it manages. The other 200 were entrusted to it under management agreements by property owners encouraged by the tax advantages of the ‘unpaid rent guarantee.’ Among the hundred or so 2- and 3-bedroom flats that it lets every year, there are 25 new acquisitions in neighbourhoods chosen for their diversity. ‘Social diversity is a crucial factor in the integration of the renters we are sent by the social services,’ says Frédéric Cesbron. For Pour Philippe Yorgand, sales manager with Enbatra (VINCI Construction France), ‘this concern for diversity is an added value’ that, combined with the humanism that fuels the association, that pushed him to create the ties between François Gillet, the head of Un Toit Pour Tous Développement, and VINCI. The Foundation thus contributed €20,000 towards the acquisition and renovation of social housing in Seyssinet. ‘I gave my opinion on the construction, but in reality I only confirmed their decisions because the association shows great professionalism. Everything was renovated to Very High Energy Performance standards to cut energy consumption in half,’ says the VINCI Foundation sponsor.
Reinsert gradually At age 44 and with her 5-year-old daughter, Ouafa L. is the first renter of a 57 sq. m. flat in a private, multi-owner building. The association that has been supporting her since 2009 has changed her life. ‘In private rentals, I had to chose between paying my rent or buying groceries. Today, I live more comfortably than I ever have before,’ insists the new renter who had the confidence to obtain a job as an educational assistant in a local secondary school. Thanks to the social diversity sought by the association, she can breathe. ‘Here, I can be part of my environment...,’ she says with joy.
April 2014 © Reporters d'Espoirs news agency
VINCI Foundation works with Reporters d'Espoirs, a French news agency, to highlight and share the innovative social initiatives that it supports. The arrangement includes the writing of articles and exchange on topics that lead to solutions. Thus presented, the initiatives, validated using the criteria of the editorial charter of Reporters d'Espoirs, are intended to demonstrate their development and results.