May I apply for social housing and, if so, how?

How do you go about applying for council / social housing and can you have one if you are not French? SG 

1 March 2016
By Oliver Rowland

ALL LEGAL residents may apply for social housing and it is obtainable depending on income level plus various priority criteria. If you do not come under any of the latter then you may have more difficulty being accepted and/or face a longer wait.

In sought-after areas, especially Paris, the process can take several years.

People who are prioritised include: the disabled, those who are living in especially poor conditions or in housing that is unhealthy or dangerous or in temporary accommodation, domestic violence victims, the homeless and those under threat of eviction.

An application can be made either online or in person or by letter with a paper form (find it here: lodged with a local body with a stock of social housing such as a housing association or the mairie.

The simplest method is online at

This site also has details of local bodies, showing how many homes each one is responsible for and where to apply in person – click on ‘Où trouver les guichets’.

Either way you will need a copy of the passports or identity cards of everyone who would live in the home (or scans if applying online). You will also need your last avis d’imposition as proof of income. Click on Créer une demande to start the process.

You will receive a registration number, whether by email or post, showing that you are in the system. Until a home is allocated you will have to renew your application annually, however your registration number remains the same and the services know how long you have been on their lists

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