Poor housing in Marseille: 22 m2 without heating or hot water for € 450 per month… in cash

Poor housing in Marseille: 22 m2 without heating or hot water for € 450 per month… in cash

Two and a half years after the tragedy in the rue d’Aubagne, “Special Envoy” broadcast on June 17, 2021 an investigation in the slums of downtown Marseille. In the studio where she has lived for two years, Karima has no heating or hot water. His landlord, who requires the payment of rent in cash, would also have been his employer … in the dark.

Correspondent.  Bad housing in Marseille: 22m2 without heating or hot water for € 450 per month in cash

At the end of 2018, the collapse of two buildings on rue d’Aubagne, in the heart of Marseille, left eight people dead and caused a political crisis. Since then, more than 500 buildings have been the subject of an emergency order, and 5,000 people have been evacuated and rehoused, most often in hotels … Today, as shown by an investigation by “Special Envoy” to see on June 17, 2021, slums are still numerous in the center of the second largest city in France. For lack of funds or negligence, many owners do not do the necessary work.

A magazine team followed Abdallah, who takes steps to leave the unsanitary ground floor where he brings up his little girls. In the city center, some residents find themselves in an even more fragile situation. This is the case with Karima, who does not have a residence permit. In the studio where she has lived for two years, she has no heating or hot water. For these 22 square meters, she pays 450 euros each month… in cash.

Defenseless in the face of a “big arm”… sent by the owner?

With the help of the Angry Marseille association, born after the drama in the rue d’Aubagne, Karima decided to fight for her rights, facing an owner who would have also employed her illegally for ten years. She claims to have managed for him a dozen seasonal rentals in the center of Marseille, where she was responsible for cleaning and welcoming tourists.

The day Karima dared to complain, she says, the owner allegedly demanded that she leave her home. She would also have lost this undeclared work. At 58, with no income, in an irregular situation, she was helpless when, in July 2019, there was a knock on her door. According to her, it was a “big man” sent by her owner to intimidate her. Since then, she has lived in fear. On the advice of her lawyers, she no longer pays her rent, and she has filed three complaints against her landlord: one for harassment, one at the industrial tribunal, and one for her substandard accommodation.

Extract from “In Marseille, in the slums of the city center”, an investigation to see in “Special Envoy” on June 17, 2021.

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