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France

Homelessness in France still on rise as Hollande's mandate ends

media Homeless people on the streets of Paris AFP

The number of homeless in France has risen during François Hollande's term as president, housing campaigners reported on Tuesday.

Despite his election promise to tackle poverty and other social problems, Hollande has had mixed results in providing decent homes for all, according to the Fondation Abbé Pierre homelessness campaign.

Four million people do not have a home or live in very poor housing conditions, the organisation's in annual report says, and more than 12 million are either tenants in arrears on their rent or home-owners in difficulty.

During the 2012 election campaign Hollande promised 500,000 new constructions per year, with 150,000 of them being public housing units.

But fewer than 400,000 homes have been built each year.

The Fondation Abbé Pierre also notes a massive 24 percent rise in evictions from rented property in 2015.

But there are positive points, the campaigners say, particularly limits on rent rises, better targeted attribution of social housing and help with heating and lighting.

The group has 15 proposals to fight homelessness, including the construction of 150,000 social housing units.

Presidential candidate Yannick Jadot, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Emmanuel Macron and Benoît Hamon were due to appear at a public debate on the report in Paris on Tuesday.

National Front candidate Marine Le Pen was not invited because of what the Fondation Abbé Pierre called its "profound disagreement" with her politics.

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