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Ukraine: how HLMs are used to welcome refugees in France


Ukrainian refugees continue to arrive in France. More and more often, they are housed in social housing apartments. Enough to allow them to project themselves in the long term for the future in the face of the conflict with Russia. In Amplepuis, in the Rhône one hour from Lyon, Amaliya moved into a T5 with her family.

Since a few days and the arrival of a piano, Amaliya comes back to life. This music theory teacher from kyiv in Ukraine, where the war is raging, arrived three weeks ago in Amplepuis. After days of accommodation in a gymnasium, she integrated with her two children and her husband a T5 in an HLM building.

A real happiness for this Ukrainian refugee: “This welcome, this tranquility, this comfort, it is very precious for us,” says Amaliya. “Here, we have rooms for everyone, a sofa, a table, chairs, cooking utensils. We are very lucky.”

The apartment, which dates from the 70s, has been renovated and furnished. It had been vacant for more than 3 months. “We do not take accommodation from anyone”, explains Xavier Inglebert, director of the OPAC du Rhône. “It is indeed housing that is unoccupied. So it was an opportunity to help people.”

“A real apartment is the best solution”

For the president of the association Habitat et Humanisme, which helps refugees find accommodation, housing families in unoccupied accommodation is the ideal solution. “A real apartment is the best solution for everyone”, explains Christophe Perrin. “Welcoming a refugee family into your home, you have to recognize that, for the host family, after a few weeks, it’s very heavy. And then it’s not desirable either for the host family, because they don’t is not autonomous, nor on its way to becoming so, in a context like this.”

This is why very quickly, the Ukrainian couple who are planning to go to France for the coming months, will look for work and will assume the cost of the rent alone, for the moment paid by the association.

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