La Finlande loge les SDF… et ça va beaucoup mieux

Lors de ses voeux du 1 janvier, Emmanuel Macron a promis de faire en sorte qu’il n’y ait plus de personne vivant dans la rue. Il devrait s’inspirer de ce qui se passe en Finlande; Depuis plus de trente ans, ce pays met en œuvre une politique volontariste pour résoudre la question des SDF : «un logement d’abord» et la réinsertion suit. Selon ses promoteurs, cette politique «permet d’économiser 15.000 euros par an et par personne».

Première mise en ligne de cet article le 4 septembre 2017.

  • Helsinki et Espoo (Finlande), reportage

Depuis les années 1980, ce pays du nord de l’Europe est passé de près de 20.000 à 6.644 personnes sans domicile fixe (SDF). À titre de comparaison, en France, le nombre de SDF a augmenté de 50% depuis 2001 pour atteindre les 141.500 début 2012, d’après le rapport sur le mal-logement édité par la Fondation Abbé-Pierre. Certes, la France est douze fois plus peuplée que la Finlande. Mais en proportion, ces chiffres montrent que le pays scandinave compte deux fois moins de SDF que la France.

Le secret de cette réussite? Une politique menée du local au national, nommée «un logement d’abord», portée par des acteurs engagés issus de trois ministères fondamentaux : l’Environnement, chargé de la construction et de la rénovation des habitations; les Affaires sociales et la Santé, pour la prise en charge des personnes; et les Finances, pour dégager le budget nécessaire et soutenir les initiatives.

Peter Fredriksson incarne cette politique. Conseiller du ministre de l’Environnement pendant plus de vingt ans, il vient de quitter son poste pour une retraite méritée. «Le principe “un logement d’abord” n’est pas nouveau. Un premier rapport rédigé par mon département en 1985 recommandait déjà de combiner l’administration chargée des logements et celle liée aux affaires sociales et de santé, afin de mener une politique cohérente pour la gestion du “sans-abrisme”. Ce document d’une quinzaine de pages reste notre référence. D’autant qu’en Finlande, c’est inscrit dans notre Constitution : les secteurs officiels doivent aider les gens à avoir leur propre logement.»La théorie est mise en pratique d’abord par des associations, de leur propre initiative, comme le Helsinki Deaconess Institute dans les années 1990 ou la VVA, au début des années 2000. Les personnes concernées sont celles complètement sans domicile depuis un an ou de façon répétée durant trois ans. Les causes sont variées : environnement difficile ou insalubre, problèmes d’alcool, incapacité à payer son loyer, etc. En Finlande, 80% des SDF logent chez des amis ou de la famille. Dormir dans la rue est impossible la moitié de l’année, pour cause de grand froid, les températures pouvant baisser jusqu’à – 25 °C l’hiver en ville.

240 millions d’euros ont été dépensés en huit ans, amortis en quelques années

C’est en 2008 qu’est lancé le programme Paavo, qui acte la rénovation des refuges en appartements d’une ou deux pièces à destination des SDF et la construction de milliers de nouveaux logements. L’expérimentation se fait d’abord dans dix villes, avec lesquelles ont été établis des contrats détaillés. «Nous n’avons plus de centres d’accueil de nuit, qui faisaient d’ailleurs partie du problème. Ce ne sont pas des endroits où vivre humainement», explique Peter Fredriksson. Le gouvernement s’est aussi engagé à financer la totalité des nouveaux investissements nécessaires (construction de nouveaux logements, nouveau personnel, matériel médical…) : 50% sous forme de bourses, 50% sous forme de prêts. Au total, 240 millions d’euros ont été dépensés en huit ans, amortis en quelques années. «Nous avons fait une évaluation du coût de l’opération : cela permet d’économiser 15.000 euros par an et par personne. Moins de prison, moins de services d’urgence, moins de visites à l’hôpital… Sans la volonté politique et l’alliance de ces trois ministères, ça n’aurait pas été possible.» Les SDF qui accèdent à un de ces logements payent un loyer, parfois grâce à des aides de l’Etat.

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Peter Fredriksson incarne la politique du logement finlandaise. Conseiller du ministre de l’Environnement pendant plus de vingt ans, il vient de partir à la retraite.

À quelques kilomètres à l’ouest d’Helsinki, dans la ville d’Espoo, les locataires de Väinolä sont les bénéficiaires de cette opération. Entouré de forêts, au bord d’un lac, l’immeuble, qui loge 35 personnes, n’est pourtant pas si éloigné du centre-ville, accessible facilement par les transports en commun. Ouvert en 2014, il a été rénové par la Fondation Y, le quatrième propriétaire de logements de toute la Finlande.

Dans la salle commune, assis sur un canapé, Sébastien raconte comment il est venu habiter ici. «J’étais marié à une Finlandaise mais nous avons divorcé en 2010. Je suis retourné en Martinique pour voir ma famille puis j’ai essayé de revenir vivre en France. Comme je ne trouvais pas de travail et que j’ai deux enfants ici, de douze et dix ans, j’ai décidé de réessayer en Finlande.» À 38 ans, lui qui a une formation de technicien en bâtiment et a été conducteur de travaux n’est pas parvenu à se faire embaucher. Pas même par son ancien employeur, la ville d’Espoo. Il loge un temps dans une maison gérée par One Way Mission, une association chrétienne pour laquelle il fait du volontariat, puis obtient finalement un contrat de location à durée indéterminée pour un deux-pièces à Väinolä. «Nous n’avons pas tous les mêmes profils, mais la majorité des locataires ont des dettes, sont au chômage ou ont des problèmes de santé, ajoute-t-il. Dès que j’aurai un travail, je pense déménager.»


Sébastien dans son salon.

Sébastien nous fait visiter les lieux : un espace gym, un potager partagé, un sauna — comme dans chaque habitation en Finlande —, les appartements sont dotés d’un mobilier basique. Chacun peut y apporter ses meubles. Tous ont un balcon et la climatisation. Internet est fourni et tout le monde a son propre contrat d’électricité.

«C’est très important d’avoir un espace individuel où vous avez votre propre indépendance»

Onze personnes travaillent à Vaïnolä, mais «aucune n’a l’autorité de dire aux locataires ce qu’ils doivent faire<», insiste la directrice, Pilvi. «Nous travaillons la confiance et la communication. Nous ne sommes pas des professionnels qui viennent imposer leur expertise, nous collaborons. Les locataires ne seront pas mis à la rue en cas de désaccord, on tentera toujours de trouver des solutions.» Rares sont en effet les personnes qui ne trouvent pas, ici, une stabilité. Dans ce cas, il s’agit de problèmes plus profonds de violence ou de maladie mentale qui doivent être traités dans un autre cadre.

À Väinolä, des commerces alentour donnent des invendus aux résidents.

Väinolä accueille de nombreuses personnes issues de l’immigration, comme Sébastien. Des drapeaux de la Somalie, d’Irak ou encore de Roumanie sont affichés au mur de l’entrée, à côté de celui de la France. Aucune famille ne vit ici et seulement deux appartements peuvent accueillir des couples. Le centre est géré par l’Armée du Salut, mais c’est la ville d’Espoo qui reçoit les candidatures et qui répartit les personnes en fonction de leur dossier. Pour les jeunes en difficulté avec des problèmes d’alcool ou de drogue, la résidence Rukkila est ainsi plus adaptée, au nord de la capitale finlandaise. En plein centre d’Helsinki, un autre bloc au milieu d’un quartier résidentiel accueille depuis dix ans les SDF plus âgés. Certains sont encore alcooliques, d’autres sont devenus sobres après avoir enfin pu poser leur sac sous un toit qui leur appartient. La Fondation Y a ainsi des logements dans 55 villes différentes de Finlande. Certains dans des blocs, d’autres éparpillés dans des immeubles «classiques». Les procédures pour obtenir un contrat peuvent être plus ou moins longues en fonction de la disponibilité des logements. Il est possible d’attendre jusqu’à deux ans.


Christian, ancien SDF et locataire de Väinolä.

«C’est très important d’avoir un espace individuel où vous avez votre propre indépendance, surtout le droit d’y faire ce que vous voulez. C’est une nouvelle façon de penser. Dans les modèles précédents, c’était d’abord une récompense pour bon comportement. Vous sortiez de votre addiction, et ensuite vous aviez votre appartement. Sauf que dans la plupart des cas, c’est impossible», poursuit Peter Fredriksson. Malgré cette prise de conscience, le processus a mis longtemps à porter ses fruits et est toujours en phase de perfectionnement. Les prochaines étapes? La prévention et la réhabilitation. La suite sera de se nourrir de la réflexion et de l’expérience d’anciens SDF pour attaquer le mal-logement à sa source.

Dans son appartement, qui ressemble à n’importe quel autre logement du centre-ville d’Helsinki, Sébastien rassemble ses affaires pour partir faire ses courses. En Finlande, petit à petit, les SDFdisparaissent, non pas dans l’oubli, mais en reprenant leur place dans la société.


La cuisine de Sébastien à Väinolä.

Source: reporterre

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