New to Paris and looking for an apartment? Having trouble finding something within you’re student budget? Don’t be discourage by the extremely high prices of rent in Paris, CAF is here to help.
CAF( Caisse d’Allocations Familiales) is an example of the many social benefits programs in France, that is extremely helpful for students. Basically it’s a reimbursement system that is meant to help students pay their rent. Once you’ve settled into your new apartment you can apply for CAF (it’s not that difficult to do and there are student organizations that help with the paperwork). Based on a function of your apartment size, rent, and your previous income CAF will allocate a certain amount of money to reimburse you for your rent every month. They have a calculator on their website that helps estimate the amount of money you can expect to receive from them
Before applying for CAF, you need to have secured accomidation( apartment, student housing, flat share), and you need to have opened a French bank account. It is important when you are looking for a place that you ask your landlord if the apartment is eligble for CAF/APL.
How to apply for CAF online:
You can apply at the following site for your first request of CAF.
You will need to have the following information available:
- Complete address of your accommodation
- If you have received a grant/scholarship due to social criteria, you need the name and address of the organization that gave you this grant/scholarship.
- All types of income which you received two years earlier (e.g. if you apply in 2010,you need your income of 2008).
- Your bank details.
You can then download your (already partly completed) form, and fill in the remaining.
- This form will require the owner of your accommodation to fill in the page ‘aide au logement etudiant – attestation de loyer’).
- When you receive CAF, it will be transferred to your bank account. However, you can also choose for the subsidy to be given directly to the owner of your accommodation. The amount of CAF will then be subtracted from the amount of rent you need to pay the owner each month. If you want to choose this second option (direct transfer to the owner), you need to fill in the page ‘aide au logement étudiant – demande de versement direct à l’organisme loueur’. If not, you can leave this page blank.
- The page ‘aide au logement étudiant – jeunes de moins de 25 ans’ is only to be filled in by those below the age of 25.
The documents that you need to add depend on the country you are coming from. They are described on the page ‘aide au logement – les pieces à joindre à votre demande’.
You generally need to add the following documents:
- A readable copy of both sides of your national identity card, passport or your birth certificate.
- A proof of enrolment of the university.
- A European health insurance card, or a declaration from your health insurance company.
- A declaration that you have sufficient resources (this can just be a letter stating the amount of money on your bank account and how much income you will receive during the year.
Once you complete your application, make sure to write down your ‘Nº de demande’, you will need this number to facilitate future communication with the CAF.
Send the completed form with the required documents to the address that is written on top of the form.
You will subsequently be contacted by CAF, sending you your ‘Nº d’allocataire’ (your ‘renter’s number’) and your ‘code confidential’. Using these two will allow you to access your account on www.caf.fr.