“I stay in bed if I’m not cold”: students without heating in their residence in Crous

“I haven’t had heat in my studio for two weeks,” explains Chloé*, a law student who lives in a Crous residence in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. On social media she spoke out to denounce the particularly icy situation in which she finds herself. “I received quite a few responses after my post. Some reacted by saying that there was no heat in their homes either. A girl told me that in her residence they turned off the radiators at night. »

In Paris and elsewhere, many students complain about the lack of heating in their accommodation in Crous. There is no shortage of testimonies: mushrooms, cockroaches, humidity, cold… Although the government has recently communicated about the renovation of the 12,000 homes planned between now and 2027, the daily life of some students housed in residences continues to be difficult.

“They told us to cover ourselves if we were cold”

When Chloé noticed that the radiators in her studio were no longer working, she contacted the management of her residence directly, where she has lived for 2 years. “At first they were very receptive. A technician came to look at the problem the next day to try to understand where it was coming from. »

Very quickly, the professional realizes that there is no hot water for heating in the entire building. “He told me that he couldn’t do anything, that it depended on Paris Habitat, which was in charge of this specific aspect. The Crouses are supposed to have contacted them, but it’s been five days and still nothing,” laments Chloé.

For Sial, the response to the lack of heating was surprising: “They told us to dress warmly if we were cold.” For the 19-year-old student, who lives in the Marthe Gauthier residence in Ivry-sur-Seine, the situation is prolonged and undermines his morale. “In our group of residents, the topic of cold comes up all the time. Last year, they distributed heaters, but only where it was below 18 degrees. »

However, it continues to pay rent for a service that it considers unsatisfactory. “Last time, my fingers were numb while writing a DM at home, that has never happened to me. » Between the uncertainty about adaptation on the eve of the Olympic Games, “authoritarian” management and “threats”, fatigue dominates: “We should not have to endure this as students. »

Increasingly precarious

To face the cold, everyone tries to find solutions. “I stay in bed because otherwise I’m cold,” says Chloé. For Sial, it is impossible to buy additional heating, “too expensive.” Samuel Lerosier, general secretary of the Lille 3 teachers’ committee in the city’s Federation of Student Unions, cites extreme cases of students “forced to light their stoves to have a source of heat.”

Many times, moving is not an option for students with limited funds. “Financially I can’t afford it,” Chloé decides. “If this continues, I will contact an association to issue a formal notice, to move things forward. »

The general management of the residences (sometimes brand new) is also highlighted. “In Lille we know that at least four new or recently renovated Crous university campuses have heating problems,” describes Samuel Lerosier. “The situation is catastrophic and meanwhile students continue paying their tuition. We contact the Crous by email every day, several times, so they don’t forget us. »

An observation shared by Eléonore Schmitt, spokesperson for the Student Union: “Unfortunately, this happens every year. The Crous and the service providers pass the buck. » “The broader issue of financing the Crous is raised, as renovations have not been completed despite promises from various governments”; She recalls that “according to our survey on precarious housing, 6 out of 10 students suffer from cold.” For its part, the administration of the Crous de Versailles recognizes “a concentration of heating problems”, but assures that “the situation is being resolved.” When contacted, the Crous de Créteil and the Crous de Paris did not respond to us.

*name has been changed

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