The Abbé Pierre at the Sorbonne; the 50th anniversary of the call of February 1, 1954.

On February 2, 2004, for the occasion of the presentation of the report on bad-housing, the Abbé Pierre draws the attention of politicians and demands the restart of the production of social housing.


The day following the 50th anniversary of his call, the Abbé knows he can rely on his “attention drawing skills”: in a context of ever increasing precariousness, his words ring a bell. Politicians already know that they can’t stand idly by: the housing crisis challenges the fundamental rights of the citizens and is a potential threat to democracy. A hunch confirmed by several events, including the revolt of the estates in November 2005.

The Foundation’s 2004 Report asks for reviving the production of highly social housing, aimed at the most low-income households. Above all, it highlights once more the need to enforce the law requiring municipalities of more than 50 000 residents to build 20% social housings. On February 6, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Prime Minister at the time, announces the organisation of a “grand national debate on social housing” in the fall of 2004, and promises to launch a “battle plan to fight insalubrities in the whole country”, considering even the possibility of “seizing the properties of slumlords”.