What housing aid is available for people with disabilities in France?

There are a number of benefits to help you adapt your home to offer more independence and usability

People with disabilities may qualify for housing benefit or help to adapt their home to their needs

People with disabilities in France may qualify for a range of state financial aid, including priority help for social housing, accommodation help for parents, and recourse in case of eviction.

Priority housing

Access to social housing in France - even if your incomes are below the relevant modest levels - can mean a long wait, because of high demand.

For example, in Nice, there are currently 21,000 social housing applications in progress, the mairie states.

However, people with disabilities - or those who have disabled adults or children (under 18) living with them - are among the groups that have priority when applying for social housing. 

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Other ‘priority’ criteria, for example, include living in accommodation that is deemed unfit for habitation, is unhealthy or dangerous; or people facing eviction with no alternative accommodation.

Requests for priority housing can be made online at this link, or you can apply on paper; or get more information from local bodies, which you can find here

Among the documents you need will be your avis d’imposition income tax statement, issued in the year before making the request (eg. 2023’s avis for 2022 income, if applying this year). 

Housing benefits

Housing benefits are not only for disabled people; they also depend on a person’s needs and income. 

However, if you are disabled and claim the Allocation aux adultes handicapés (AAH) disability benefit, there is more flexibility in how your entitlement and amount of housing benefit is calculated.

Assets that you own - whether property, cash savings, shares, etc, even if they exceed €30,000 - are not taken into account. Only actual income is taken into account, which is not the case for people who do not have disabilities. 

There are three possible kinds of housing benefit:

  • Aide personnalisée au logement (APL, personalised housing benefit) 

  • Allocation de logement familial (ALF, family housing benefit) 

  • Allocation de logement sociale (ALS, social housing benefit)

The AAH is one of the major benefits available to people with disabilities in France, which also include aid for transport, training to get back into work, at-home help, and help for education costs of children with disabilities. 

A full list of the benefits available, who they are for, and how to apply, is available on the government website handicap.gouv.fr.

Note that if you have moved from the UK or a European country, then some British/European disability benefits (not necessarily related to housing specifically) are ‘exportable’ - meaning you can continue claiming them or even claim them for the first time from France. 

In the case of the UK, however, this possibility is very limited if you moved post-Brexit. 

For those who moved prior, 'exportable benefits' include the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Attendance Allowance, both of which are for people who need help with daily living (notably, to pay carers).

Read also: Explainer: What help is there for people who are carers in France? 
Read also: French benefits: help for over-70s and disabled people to live at home 

Property adaptation

People with disabilities may also be granted money to adapt their home, for example, putting in ramps, removing stairs, or installing hoists.

Read also: What aid or help groups exist in France to cope with a new disability? 

These include:

  • Le prêt à l’amélioration de l’habitat (PAH, home improvement loan), which can provide up to 80% of the cost of the work

  • Le prêt d’accession sociale (PAS, social accession loan), for people on lower incomes. This enables them to become the owner of their main residence or to carry out work to adapt the home;

  • MaPrimeAdapt'. Since January 1, 2024 this grant has covered 50-70% of the cost of the work, depending on the applicant's income.

  • Un prêt conventionné (a bank loan with special conditions, including interest rates subject to fixed ceilings, long paying-back periods and no income conditions)

There are also two benefits that can help people who incur costs in staying independent in their own homes.

  • Allocation personnalisée d’autonomie, for over-60s, can be used to pay for support bars and other adaptations, téléassistance (personal alarm) systems, a walk-in shower, anti-slip flooring etc

  • Prestation de compensation du handicap, which is similar but for the under-60s.