The reports to the justice by the town hall of Marseille of cases of undignified housing increased in 2020, announced Friday the prosecutor of this city where the collapse of an insanitary building had made eight deaths in 2018. After the fatal collapse from this building rue d’Aubagne, in the heart of the second largest city in France, many voices criticized the inaction of the right-wing town hall, then headed by Jean-Claude Gaudin, against poor housing and landlords not respecting not their maintenance obligations.
“On the sensitive litigation of unworthy and unsanitary housing, we note with satisfaction the increase in reports from the town hall of Marseille”, declared the public prosecutor, Dominique Laurens during his speech of return. Public officials are normally required under Article 40 to report facts constituting a felony or misdemeanor. In total, 49 preliminary investigations and two judicial inquiries were opened in 2020 on “buildings in danger” and 27 preliminary investigations on “unsanitary buildings”, figures on the increase, said Dominique Laurens.
100,000 people empty in slums in Marseille
The new mayor of Marseille, the socialist Benoît Payan, reiterated at the beginning of January the will of his majority to fight against insanitary and unworthy housing. About 100,000 people live in slums in Marseille, according to the Abbé-Pierre Foundation. Almost two years to the day after the tragedy in rue d’Aubagne, the Marseille prosecutor’s office had announced the indictment of Julien Ruas, a former deputy to the former mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin, heads of manslaughter by willful violation, unintentional injuries by willful violation, willful endangerment of others.
He was in the previous LR executive, in particular in charge of risk prevention and management. Two other indictments were pronounced within the framework of this instruction, that of the trustee of the co-ownership of 65, rue d’Aubagne, the only one of the two buildings which was occupied at the time of the disaster, and that of the social landlord Marseille Habitat . This semi-public company in the city of Marseille owned the second building which collapsed, located at 63 rue d’Aubagne and whose access was blocked in 2017.