DALO Goes Into Effect
In France the presence of squatters and large numbers of immigrants both legal and illegal (does it matter anymore?) triggered the call for automatic free housing for all those in need. It came to be called DALO ("droit au logement opposable"). Roughly translated: "the inalienable right to housing that a court cannot deny you". In other words, if you want housing, and are denied it, then if you go to court, this so-called DALO law must prevail over any preceding refusals. Up to now DALO has not been put to the test in a courtroom but that omission has now been corrected, as Yves Daoudal explains in two posts. The first, dated May 21, provides background to the case of Namizata Fofana:
A court recognized yesterday for the first time the inalienable right to housing. The judge of the administrative tribunal of Paris suspended the unfavorable opinion, given on March 3 by mediators, to the request for priority housing by Namizata Fofana, a mother of two.
Jean-Baptiste Eyraud of DAL (Right to Housing - a leftist pro-immigration organization) expressed satisfaction with this ground-breaking judgment. "Other requests of the same type will start to come in, a movement is beginning to form..."
Since 2005, Namizata Fofana has filed several requests for social housing. All were rejected. As soon as the DALO law went into effect she filed a request. On March 3 the mediation commission rendered an unfavorable opinion, on grounds the case was not urgent. At the hearing, the prefect's representative pointed out that there had been 17,000 requests filed, and only those without housing were given priority, which was not Madame Fofana's case.
But the judge decided, on the contrary, that the case was urgent.
The follow-up to this post is dated June 6, 2008:
Namizata Fofana is now officially the first beneficiary of the DALO law. The final judgment was rendered on May 30, but strangely enough, we only learned about it today.
The prefect's decision to refuse her housing was annulled, as the judge had requested. And the mediation commission now says exactly the opposite of what it had said on March 3: it "declares the case of Namizata Fofana to be a priority and that her situation justifies that housing been provided at once."
On behalf of DAL, Jean-Baptiste Eyraud declared that it was "encouraging for all those who find their request for housing denied."
Naturally, it is by chance that Namizata Fofana is from the Ivory Coast.
And it is the greatest of coincidences that the DALO law has become, from its first application, a call for immigration.
Note: I hope it is also by chance that her last name is Fofana - that is the name of the individual from the Ivory Coast, Youssef Fofana, who is now in jail for the murder of Ilan Halimi, in February 2006. Of course, it's possible that Fofana is a common name in that country.
Fabrice Madouas, writing at Blog des Valeurs Actuelles provides this additional fact:
(...) the prefecture will have to find housing for her within six months. If not, Namizata Fofana could demand monetary compensation from the State.
And one of Madouas' readers perceives the irony of the case:
- This new law was passed by a right-wing government, yielding to highly publicized pressure from an organization that is hardly representative. It never would have happened without the obstinacy of a woman of the Right, namely Madame (Christine) Boutin. Meant for those who do not have permanent housing, (the law) will serve as a magnet for an additional influx of immigrants.
Note: Christine Boutin is Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs. Though a conservative Catholic on many issues of bioethics, as minister of housing, she has shown herself to be a "bleeding heart", and has probably interpreted Christian charity to include culturally harmful social programs.
However, the judge who interpreted the law to include a woman who HAD housing is certainly to blame.
As in America, the French courts are taking on the role of legislators.