Question from Tom on August 24th
Your question relates to a tweet by journalist Taha Bouhafs on August 18th. This is in response to a message also posted on Twitter the day before by EE-LV candidate and mayor of Grenoble, Eric Piolle, in response to the President’s address on Afghanistan. While environmentalist-elect Emmanuel scourged Macron, pointing out that in Grenoble “We organize ourselves to take in refugees“, Taha Bouhafs replies:”In Grenoble, in particular, you turned off the liquids (in the middle of winter) in a building where displaced people and the homeless had found shelter. But what counts for Eric Piolle is communication.“An answer that has generated several hundred shares and which you ask us whether it relates to true facts.
Taha Bouhafs refers here to a case in December 2020 in which the city of Grenoble took a stand against the occupants of an apartment that was renamed the squatted abbey.
This building, which is at the heart of an urban renewal project (Operation Green Shutters), was vacated of its tenants early last winter. On December 12, the association Right to Housing (DAL) 38 took over the building with around fifty people in vulnerable situations, including refugees, the undocumented, the homeless and people in emergency shelters. Six days later, from December 18, water, electricity and district heating were gradually turned off, it is confirmed CheckNews a local club source.
Press articles of the time report on this contradictory situation. And refer to the responsibility of the public housing authority of the Grenoble region (Actis) for shutting off liquids. Actis, whose board of directors is none other than Elisa Martin, in her capacity as councilwoman. She is also first deputy to the mayor of Grenoble, Eric Piolle. An article from Dauphine Libere thus publishes the open letter from Christophe Ferrari, President of the Metropolis, addressed to Elisa Martin. Qualified as “small scratchfrom the local newspaper, this letter laments that “Electricity, district heating and running water in the occupied apartments were switched off between December 18 and 23 without information or prior consultation with the metropolis“and this despite the health context and a”hard winter“. The elected Elisa Martin answers him, also through the press, “that he was fully aware of it“.
Contacted by CheckNews, The city of Grenoble does not deny Actis’ involvement in the disruption of the liquids. However, she would like to clarify the connection:All families living in the Cité de l’Abbaye have been relocated as part of the neighborhood rehabilitation program. Actis, the city’s social landlord, has been working on these conversions for four years. The decommissioning of liquids took place after the last tenants had moved out of the quarter and with a view to handing over the landlord’s buildings to the local public authority, which has owned the premises since January 1, 2021. In fact, this planned shutdown coincided with the arrival of the DAL association at the site.»
Plunged into darkness
A chronology confirmed by our associative source, but recalling that “the heating was still running when the residents arrived in the vacant apartments. Workers warned them they would soon cut everything. As a result, contact was made with City Hall to report their presence. It hasn’t changed anything.” A week later, the squat was plunged into darkness. The DAL38, after France bluethen denounced”a well thought out strategy to empty the place of its inhabitants“.
However, an agreement has now been reached between the residents of the shelter and the city of Grenoble. After discussions with the municipality, a resettlement solution was found last April. “Once the dialogue with the DAL was established, the city took responsibility for the social support that would be given to these people and for their temporary housing.‘ the city hall says.
To date, according to our information, about twenty of the 54 residents still live in aparthotels funded by the CCAS (Community Center for Social Action). All in all, the residents of the squat remained without water, electricity or heating for almost four months in the dead of winter.
Update on Thursday, September 2, 6 p.m.: clarification of the function of Elisa Martin, President of the Actis AC, in her capacity as elected representative of the metropolis.