Accommodation places in a migrants’ day centre run by the organisation France Horizon in Paris are given by lottery. Every morning, groups ranging from 150 to 400 people appear before the centre, which has a capacity of no more than 50 places, to test their chances of obtaining a place.

According to the centre management, lottery-based access to accommodation is no more unjust a system than a “first come, first served” arrangement or a list of candidates. It also minimises risks of tension and violence among those seeking a place.

The arrangement is seen as a direct consequence of the chronic shortage of reception places in the Ile-de-France region. According to latest official statistics, the network of Reception and Administrative Situation Examination Centres (CAES) for newly arrived migrants counts 2,986 places, of which 744 in Ile-de-France.

The Ministry of Interior plans to increase the total number of reception places for asylum seekers in the national reception system (DNA) from 86,592 as of the end of 2018 to 98,476 by the end of 2019.

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Photo: (CC) Jeremy Brooks, May 2013

This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin . You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.