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Seine-Saint-Denis: they lived at 31 in a house and cellars in Bobigny

More than 30 people lived in a house divided into seven units and in two cellars in Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis). (© Prefecture of Seine-Saint-Denis)

The fight against unworthy habitat has been a priority for the Prefect of the Seine-Saint-Denis which has reinforced the resources dedicated to this policy.

It is in this context that two large-scale operations of the fight against undignified habitat were carried out on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 January 2021 in Bobigny by the departments of the Seine-Saint-Denis prefecture, the municipal hygiene and health department and the town planning department of Bobigny, the prosecutor’s office of the Bobigny judicial court and the police specialized in unworthy habitat.

31 people crammed into seven apartments and two cellars

They made it possible, on the one hand, to observe the unsanitary conditions of certain dwellings or premises used as such, and on the other hand, to hear the occupants of these dwellings with a view to possible legal proceedings against the owners or lessors. .

The pavilion which was the object of the operation on Wednesday 13 January was divided into seven apartments, housing 31 people, in particular in two semi-underground cellars and two garden huts. The pavilion visited on Thursday January 14 was divided into nine dwellings housing eleven people, especially in two cellars and two garden sheds.

A repressive policy against sleep merchants, both as part of the administrative police and in the context of criminal proceedings decided by the prosecution.

What criminal proceedings?

On the basis of the report of the municipal hygiene and health service of the city of Bobigny, and after compliance with a contradictory phase, the prefect of Seine-Saint-Denis may decide to issue an insalubrity order.

This decree will oblige owners to carry out work on housing that can be rehabilitated, and to relocate the occupants for premises misused as housing (cellars, garages, etc.). The homes used to commit the offense may be confiscated.

Any infringements of the town planning code may also be prosecuted.

29,000 unworthy housing in Seine-Saint-Denis

Dwellings whose condition exposes the occupants to obvious risks to their health and safety, or which are by nature unsuitable for habitation (cellar, garden shed, etc.) are considered “unworthy”.

The problem is significant in Seine-Saint-Denis with nearly 29,000 homes classified as potentially unworthy, ie 7.5% of the number of private main residences in the department. It focuses on an old and very degraded building stock, or on recent condominiums but with significant dysfunctions.

This phenomenon is also developing within the suburban fabric, with abusive divisions of houses, often leading to over-occupancy of the premises. In total, 72,000 Sequano-Dionysians would be affected.