Beneficiaries are allowed to stay in reception centres 3 months following their protection grant. This period can be renewed for another 3 months with the express agreement of OFII. During their stay in the centre, beneficiaries are supported to find accommodation according to the mechanisms adopted by the local authorities. At the end of 2019, 12,306 out of a total of 81,866 places listed by OFII (which differs from the total listed by the Ministry of Interior) in reception centres were for beneficiaries of international protection. According to OFII, beneficiaries of international protection stay an average of 8 month in reception centre after having received a protection status.
Beneficiaries can also be channelled to temporary accommodation centres (Centres provisoires d’hébergement, CPH) upon an OFII decision. They will be then allowed to stay there for 9 months. This stay can be renewed for a 3-month period. At the end of 2020, there were 8,710 accommodation places in CPH spread across the different regions as follows:
|Capacity of CPH per region: 2020|
|Hauts de France||447|
|Ile de France||2,758|
|Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur||469|
|Pays de la Loire||528|
Source: Ministry of Interior, Circular NOR: INTV2100948J, 15 January 2021
The implementation of integration mechanisms relies on Prefectures and local authorities. They sign in fact an agreement with the stakeholders to support and assist beneficiaries with their integration. Beneficiaries have to sign a republican integration covenant in which they commit to respect French fundamental values and to comply with French legal obligations. The agreement between Prefectures and local stakeholders determines the role of each actor and their obligations towards the beneficiaries. The organisations running these centres have to house the beneficiaries but also support them in their integration process. They have to assist them in getting access to French classes, funded by the French State, and accompany them in determining their professional orientation. At the end of their stay in CPH, beneficiaries fall under the general rules applicable to foreigners and have to integrate in the private market to get housing.
The actions implemented to facilitate beneficiaries’ integration vary from an area to another. 12 months, in case the initial duration of stay has been extended, may not be enough for beneficiaries to get integrated. France terre d’asile and Forum réfugiés – Cosi manage systems intending to facilitate this access to integration. These mechanisms are focused on beneficiaries’ integration but are based on the French general provisions dedicated to access to housing for insecure populations.
Forum réfugies – Cosi runs the Accelair programme. This programme is dedicated to refugees living in Lyon area and who have been granted asylum for less than one year. On the basis of this programme, places are saved for refugees within the real estates managed by providers of social housing. Refugees registered in this programme are supported from 6 to 18 months. The duration of the support may depend on the individualised project of each beneficiary. This assistance aims to make refugees autonomous and to ensure their integration. It has been developed in Auvergne and Occitanie since 2016. In 2018, 1,721 families benefit from it. In its National Strategy for Integratoin published in June 2018, the governement has annouced the development of similar programmes throughout the country.. Several integration projects have been developed through the country in 2019 such as HOPE, a program run by AFPA (a public institution) which provides professional training and accomodation for refugees in many departements.
Another example of proactive support in France is the national platform for the housing of refugees, introduced as a pilot project by the Inter-Ministerial Delegation for Accommodation and Access to Housing (Délégation interministérielle à l’hébergement et à l’accès au logement, DIHAL). The platform maps available accommodation spaces outside large cities and matches beneficiaries of international protection with a place. In 2019, 20,020 refugees have been directed to housing thanks to this program.
However, despite several measures taken to enable beneficiaries to access accommodation, high numbers of status holders leave reception centres with nowhere to go.
Access to housing was more difficult in 2020 in the context of COVID-19. In the first semester of 2020, only 1,755 people exited the reception system with housing solution compared to 7,600 in 2019 (although the latter is a full-year figure).
As a result, many beneficiaries of protection are living in the streets or in camps. In Paris, amongst thousands of migrants living in camps that are regularly dismantled, 15 to 20% are refugees.
 Article R.744-12(1)(1) Ceseda.
 OFII, 2017 Activity report, 24.
 Article R.349-1 Code of Social Action and Families as amended by Decree n. 2016-253 of 2 March 2016 relating to temporary accommodation centres for refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, available in French at: http://bit.ly/2jNt1xD.
 Article L.751-1 Ceseda.
 Article L.311-9 Ceseda.
 This agreement is attached by to Decree n. 2016-253 of 2 March 2016.
 DIHAL, Plateforme nationale pour le logement des réfugiés, May 2018, available in French at: https://bit.ly/2VLkDRp.
 Francetvinfo, Évacuation de campements de migrants à Paris : “Une partie des personnes se sont évaporées dans Paris”, d’après l’adjointe à la mairie chargée de la solidarité, 7 November 2019, available in French at : https://bit.ly/2wpLmMy.