The “tiny houses” project of the Chtite maison solidaire. - Jointly owned house
- The money collected by the association la Chtitemaison solidaire is used to finance housing for homeless people.
- This same principle will make it possible to operate a united eco-village in Lille.
Helping your neighbor, a homeless person in this case, is an enticing concept which nevertheless very often stops at the door of the living room. Who would indeed want an indefinite squatter in his little home? Conversely, who would take pleasure in taking over a stranger's guest room at the risk of being fired overnight? Christophe Thomas and his friend Tony have found a solution that makes everyone agree: Chtite maison solidaire.
Not without humor, Christophe and Tony recognize that their first common point is the unpopularity they enjoy with some: one is a banker and the other Roma. But what made them meet and become friends was the desire to help others. "We were in the Father Arthur friend of the poor association which collects surplus food from supermarkets to redistribute it in the slums", remembers Christophe. Tony, at the time, lived in one of these camps until it was dismantled. "I could have accommodated him at home," continues the former banker, "but we found another solution. "
By welcoming tourists, he finances his friend's rent
It was in 2017 and Christophe Thomas lived alone in a very large house. Every other week, he welcomed his daughter in alternate custody. To preserve the tranquility of his child and offer Tony a real home, the former white collar worker had a brilliant idea: "The weeks when I do not have custody of my daughter, I rent my house to tourists on Airbnb. With this money, I can pay the rent for Tony's home, ”he explains. Even better, since by welcoming tourists only 20% of the time, the sums collected cover three months of his friend's rent.
Christophe wanted to extend his system to benefit other people in need. To date, he has counted around twenty “solidarity hosts”. But the money recovered will no longer be used to pay rents. On the occasion of the first participative budget of the city of Lille, in 2018, the association Les Chtites Maisons Solidaires presented "Lil'Pouss'", an eco-friendly village project. “On a wasteland made available by the municipality will be installed five tiny houses , small houses that can each accommodate three people in precarious situations. The money of the solidarity hosts will be used to pay them a salary, ”explains Christophe. In exchange, these people will carry out urban shepherd, urban miner, ecological builder, permaculteur missions ... The building permit has been deposited and Lil'Pouss' should come out of the ground for the last quarter of 2020.
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