Country Report: Housing Last updated: 11/05/23


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Beneficiaries are allowed to stay in reception centres 3 months following the positive OFPRA decision.[1] This period can be renewed for 3 months with the express agreement of OFII.[2] During their stay in the centre, beneficiaries are helped in finding accommodation according to the mechanisms adopted by the local authorities. At the end of 2021, 16,437 BIPs were housed within the National Reception Scheme out of a total of 101,089 places listed by OFII (which differs from the total listed by the Ministry of Interior) .[3] According to OFII, beneficiaries of international protection stay an average of 8 month in reception centres after having received a protection status.[4]

Beneficiaries can be sent 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 once for a 3-month period.[5] At the end of 2022, there were 9,918 places in CPH. At the end of 2021, there were 8,914 accommodation places in CPH spread across the different regions as follows:

Capacity of CPH per region: 2021
Region Maximum capacity
Auvergne Rhône-Alpes 1,075
Bourgogne Franche-Comté 388
Bretagne 462
Centre 331
Grand Est 615
Hauts de France 447
Ile de France 2,962
Normandie 389
Nouvelle Acquitaine 705
Occitanie 543
Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur 469
Pays de la Loire 528
Total 8,914

Source: Information relative à la gestion du parc d’hébergement des demandeurs d’asile et des réfugiés, NOR : INTV2100948J, 15 January 2021, available in French at: https://bit.ly/3olF1N6.


The implementation of integration mechanisms relies on Prefectures and local authorities. They sign an agreement with stakeholders to support and assist beneficiaries with their integration.[6] Beneficiaries have to sign a republican integration contract in which they commit to respecting French fundamental values and to complying with French legal obligations.[7] The agreement between Prefectures and local stakeholders determines the role of each actor and their obligations towards the beneficiaries.[8] The organisations running these centres have to house the beneficiaries but also support them throughout their integration process. They have to assist them in accessing French classes, funded by the French State, and accompany them in choosing their professional orientation. At the end of their stay in CPH, beneficiaries fall under the general rules applicable to foreigners and have to integrate 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 runs the Accelair programme. This programme is dedicated to refugees living in the Lyon area and who have been granted asylum less than one year ago. On the basis of this programme, places are saved for refugees within the properties managed by providers of social housing. Refugees registered in this programme are supported during between 6 and 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.[9] It has been in place in Auvergne and Occitanie since 2016. In 2022, 4,087 families benefited from these programmes managed by Forum refugies. In its National Strategy for Integration published in June 2018, the governement annouced the development of similar programmes throughout the country.[10] 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.

In 2022, the government introduced a new global programme, named AGIR. This programme was influenced in large part by the ACCELAIR program of Forum Refugiés. It aims to provide global support for refugee integration concerning housing, employment and benefits.[11] The deployment of the program, began durin 2022 in twenty-seven departments. It should continue in twenty-five new departments in 2023 before being generalised to the entire national territory in 2024.The impact in practice remains to be seen throuhgout 2023.

Another example of proactive support 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).[12] The platform maps out available accommodation options outside large cities and matches beneficiaries of international protection with a spot. In 2020, 9,818 housing places were mobilised for refugees thanks to this programme. Figures on the year 2021 and 2022 are not available.

However, despite several measures taken to further beneficiaries access to accommodation, a high numbers of status holders leave reception centres with nowhere to go.

Moreover, many beneficiaries of protection live in the streets or in camps. In Paris, amongst thousands of migrants living in camps that are regularly dismantled, 15 to 20% are refugees.[13]




[1] Article R. 552-11 Ceseda.

[2] Ibid.

[3] OFII, 2021 Activity report, 24.

[4] Le Monde, ‘Après la crise due au coronavirus, l’accès au logement des réfugiés sous tension’, 24 June 2020, available in French at : https://bit.ly/2ZAkk04.  

[5] 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.

[6] Article L. 561-14 Ceseda.

[7] Article L. 413-2 Ceseda.

[8] This agreement is attached by to Decree n. 2016-253 of 2 March 2016.

[9] Forum réfugiés, Programme d’intégration des réfugiés – Accelair, available at: https://bit.ly/3KGDY1O.

[10] Ministry of Interior, Stratégie nationale pour l’accueil et l’intégration des personnes réfugiées, 5 June 2018, available in French at: https://bit.ly/2tY4qfN.

[11] Ministry of Interior, 15 décembre 2021, “Lancement d’AGIR”, available in French at: https://bit.ly/3CvZykO.

[12] DIHAL, Plateforme nationale pour le logement des réfugiés, May 2018, available in French at: https://bit.ly/2VLkDRp.

[13] 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.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation