Apartment sharing, a solution to the lack of places at the Asylum reception centre

Extract from Récit de Omer • 30 years old • Man • Kurdish

The first problem in Marseille was accommodation: the majority of young Kurds that I met lived with their families, their parents, and they had no way of taking me in. I spent the first two months living with the President of the Kurdish Centre here in Marseille. He also helped me when I was short of money. Later, I met up with an old friend and we started looking for a flat to share. We looked for over two months during which time I slept on another friend’s couch. In the end we found a place to rent and we moved in. We didn’t have to apply to the landlord as we were lucky enough to be replacing someone in an already existant shared apartment. I explained my situation to the tenants that remained and they knew of an associative bar were I was a volunteer… maybe that helped. In any case, it went well and I was able to find a solution without having to fill in an official application or prove my earnings. Indeed, that would not have been possible in any case since as an asylum seeker the Prefecture forbids me to work. I am only allowed to volunteer). I get an allowance as an asylum seeker (Allocation pour demandeur d’asile – ADA), a little over 300€, but that would not have been enough to reassure the landlord of a rental accommodation or a real estate agency.

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