Toits d’Abord: A Lasting Commitment for Integration Through Housing

Paris, France Finance, Local social sustainability, Relations to stakeholders, Target groups of housing


The Fondation Abbé Pierre’s Toits d’Abord programme supports the emergence of concrete housing solutions by funding the renovation (93%) or construction (7%) of housing units that will be affordable for low-income households, but also comfortable and energy efficient. The financial support is offered to non-profit local associations who become partners and support the renovation of housing units for low-income households that will then benefit from public housing allowances
and capped rents, at the lowest levels.


While the average standard of living of the poorest households has stagnated in France for the past ten years, the financial effort to find housing has steadily increased. It is estimated that in France about 4 million people are homeless or living in inadequate forms of housing. This leads to devastating health and social consequences.

Issues tackled

The programme focuses on people most affected by poor housing. 90% of households housed after construction or rehabilitation have resources below the poverty line (€1015 per consumption unit per month), 50% live below the poverty line (€672). Children make up half of those living in housing
supported by the Toits d’Abord programme. The potential beneficiaries are identified locally by social services linked to local public authorities, associations or other social partners. They are all low-income households, and less than 20% are in employment. They are poor or very modest households, which, in their great diversity, share the inability to access conventional social housing or private housing stock because of life circumstances or resources being deemed

Actors involved

  • Fondation Abbé Pierre


With Toits d’Abord, an average of 600 housing units per year are refurbished or built through the Foundation’s funding: 900 to 1200 people are taken away from poor housing and fuel poverty each year.

Why it works

The Fondation Abbé Pierre has found involvement of all stakeholders to be the decisive key necessary to bring about concrete, locally integrated and tailored responses. In a context where public resources are becoming scarce, while financial limitation and other constraints are increasing, the Toits d’Abord programme is working on the base of a very strong partnership with the energy supplier EDF, which has financially supported action against fuel poverty since 2012,
and the Île-de-France administrative region.


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