French mayor requisitions offices to house migrants

After 250 migrants protested their poor living conditions in the Bara hostel, the mayor of Montreuil had no solution other than to rehouse them in an office building. 

Roxanne D'Arco
Roxanne D'Arco NewsMavens, France
French mayor requisitions offices to house migrants - NewsMavens
Montreuil, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

On September 26, Patrice Bessac, the mayor of Montreuil, decided to relocate 250 migrants to the former offices of the National Agency for Adults' Professional Formation (called "AFPA "in French) which is owned by the state.

Bessac stated it was an "extreme emergency" but the situation isn't new. In 2013, authorities decided to tear down and rebuild the entire hostel, but its inhabitants were never moved to alternate accomodations. 

Facing a difficult situation, Bessac decided to risk moving the migrants to the AFPA building, even though the city hall had other plans for the building.

Politically, it was a risky decision, but it was also the only humane and responsible option. However, it's a shame that Bessac hasn't shown the same generosity to the Roma community in Montreuil. They have been living on the street for over a year now.

Details from the story:

  • More than 250 perople were living in dangerous conditions in the Bara hostel in Montreuil.
  • On September 26, the communist mayor of Montreuil, Patrice Bessac, decided to rehouse them in government-owned former offices.
  • On September 15, residents organized an open house day to show their broken toilets, water leaks and other health hazards.
  • In 2013, it had been already decided to destroy and rebuild the entire hostel but since then no temporary housing location has been found for the inhabitants.
  • Meanwhile, members of the Roma community have been homeless for more than one year. 
  • Montreuil is known for its ethnic and cultural diversity. 
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