Context of the Evaluation:
In 2004 the French social sector offered 4.2 million units (17 percent of the country's housing stock) at 30 to 40 percent below private market rates.1 Despite these provisions, demand for housing (both public and private) in the Bas-Rhin department of Alsace is still greater than the supply. Currently, the main existing measure in France that allows young people to rent an apartment is a housing benefit that subsidizes part of the rent. These grants are assigned to students and applicants with a demonstrated need for financial resources. In 2010, the General Council of Bas-Rhin began offering 18-25 year olds residing in the Bas-Rhin department access to Pass’Accompagnment, a program which aims to improve the financial independence and social integration of 1,000 young adults in the Bas-Rhin.
Details of the Intervention:
In collaboration with the Haut Commissariat aux Solidarités Actives Contre la Pauvreté (the French Ministry for Active Solidarity against Poverty), researchers will measure the impact of the new Pass’Accompagnement program. The evaluation will consist of two waves, each of which consists of a randomly selected treatment group of 300 and comparison group of 400 young adults from a total pool of 700 youth identified as being in “a precarious situation”. Members of the comparison group will not participate in the program.
Those that are randomly selected to participate in the program will be assigned a unique social worker with the task of advising them in matters of employment, education, and housing over the course of two years. If program participants rent their apartments, the General Council makes a commitment to their landlord that they will pay the rent if the participant fails to do so over the next two years. Additionally, participants are given an €1800 grant which can be spent on a variety of things, including interview clothing, drivers licenses’, etc depending on the social worker’s assessment. This flexible design is intended to allow the program to address the specific needs of each participant.
Members of both the treatment and comparison group will be evaluated for a period of three years to determine the impacts of the program on professional integration, housing, independence, and general welfare.
Results and Policy Lessons: