Published on: 22 March 2022
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Young workers: the conditions for obtaining housing allowance
Are young workers entitled to housing benefits? Under what conditions can they obtain them? How to request it? Studapart explains everything to you.
According to studies carried out each year by INSEE, approximately 15% of the budget of French families is devoted to housing, a rate that continues to increase due to a constant increase in rents and the general stagnation of income.
The most modest households resort to housing assistance. These are allowances paid by the State to individuals, in particular young working people and students, which allow them, under several conditions, to pay all or part of their rent.
These housing aids are managed by the CAF, Caisse des Allocations Familiales, (www.caf.fr) or by the MSA, Mutualité sociale agricole (www.msa.fr). The best known is the APL, personalized housing assistance, but there are also two others: the ALF, family housing allowance, and the ALS, social housing allowance.
Who can benefit from housing assistance?
Housing assistance (APL, ALF and ALS) is offered to all people living in France and meeting the eligibility criteria. Foreigners must provide proof of a residence permit to benefit from it.
Personalized housing assistance (APL)
Personalized housing assistance (Aide Personnalisée au Logement - APL) was created in 1977 for people living in rented accommodation. More than two million French households benefit from it today, in particular students and young working people. Several criteria are taken into account to decide whether or not to obtain the APL: household income, the age of the applicants, their marital status and the number of children they have to support.
Thus the APL is open to people who are:
- either tenants, co-tenants or sub-tenants of their accommodation (the owners of their accommodation are not concerned),
- either with a disability living with a host family,
- either residents in a home
The amount of the APL is calculated according to the place of residence, the resources of the household and the price of the rent, which must not exceed a certain ceiling. The amount of the APL changes over the years according to changes in the family (births, marriage, separation, etc.) and the place of residence when there has been a move.
The family housing allowance (ALF)
The ALF, family housing allowance, is much older than the APL. It was created in 1948 when the regulations on rent control came to an end, which caused an increase in the price of rents and consequently difficulties for certain families to face this increase.
More than one million households in France now benefit from the ALF. It should be noted that this aid cannot be combined with the APL. It is addressed to:
- households that receive family benefits or the AEEH, education allowance for disabled children,
- couples without children whose sum of ages does not exceed 55 years,
- pregnant women with their first child (from the fourth month of pregnancy),
- families in which one of the dependent members is over 65, has low income or is disabled.
Social housing allowance (ALS)
The ALS, social housing allowance, also predates the APL. It was created in 1971. This aid is open to precarious people whose criteria do not fall within those which make them eligible for the APL or the ALF. This may concern people with disabilities, young workers, job seekers, etc.
Aid is paid to people whose resources are insufficient to access decent housing. It therefore depends on income, the number of people in the household, but also on the housing situation, since rents are higher in some regions than others.
What income is taken into account for housing benefit?
To calculate housing assistance, the CAF and the MSA take into account the sum of household income over the last twelve months. These incomes are wages, pensions, unemployment benefits, sickness benefits, and work-related accidents.
Other aid from CAF and MSA, such as family allowances, activity bonus, RSA or AAH, are not taken into account.
Housing assistance can be combined with other assistance such as the Loca-Pass, the energy check and the ANAH subsidy.
Housing allowance: all the conditions
Several conditions must be met to benefit from housing allowances.
The accommodation you occupy must be approved. Before settling there, you must ask the owner if he has indeed concluded an agreement with the prefecture which guarantees that his property is eligible for the APL. This agreement will indicate that the accommodation meets the minimum requirements in terms of decency:
- The area must be equal to or greater than 9 square meters for a single tenant (16 for two people then 9 for each additional person).
- The accommodation must have at least one window giving onto the outside, toilets, the arrival of drinking water and electricity.
- The accommodation must also pose no risk to the health of the occupants (asbestos, lead, electrical installation, gas, etc.).
Undertake the upgrading of housing
If one of these criteria is not met, the accommodation will not be eligible for APL. However, the tenant can benefit from the allowance if he takes steps with the landlord to have the accommodation brought up to standard.
How do I get housing benefit?
To apply for housing allowance, you must go to the CAF website
- Go to www.caf.fr,
- choose “My online services” > “Apply for a benefit” > “Accommodation”
- in the context of "Housing assistance", you have the possibility of making a simulation of your request, in order to check if you are eligible.
- Before going any further, the site will ask you to log in with your account credentials (if you don't have a CAF account, you can create one).
You can also go through the MSA website:
- Go to www.msa.fr
- choose “Individual” then “Housing assistance”
- log in with your MSA account credentials
To make the simulation, or to make a real request, the site will ask you for the type of rental, its geographical location, whether it is furnished or not, the amount of the rent, your family situation and the number of children, your income. and your situation (among the choices offered: “RSA beneficiaries” and “student”).
The sum proposed by the simulation will only be indicative. You can then make a real request. It should be noted that the APL is only open to tenants. Owners cannot benefit from it.