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Housing aid: What are you entitled to in a student residence?

Updated on May 25, 2021
Student Life

If you’re moving in to a YouFirst Campus residence soon and would you like to give your budget a bit of a boost, you should be aware that the CAF (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales — family allowance fund) can help you financially throughout your studies, whether you are a French or international student. There are different types of aid, conditions you need to meet to claim it and documents you need to provide, so here’s all the information you need to make paying your rent easier.

Which housing aid is right for you?

The CAF offers three types of aid depending on personal circumstances:

  1. Aide Personnalisée au Logement: Well-known in France, the APL (personal housing aid) is reserved for students who live in a property whose owner has signed an agreement with the French government, such as a CROUS residence, HLM (Habitation à Loyer Modéré — low-income housing) or even a foyer (supported housing for young people).
  2. Allocation de Logement à caractère Familial: The ALF (family housing allowance) can only be claimed by single students with a dependant.
  3. Allocation de Logement à caractère Social: The ALS (social housing allowance) is intended for students living in private rental housing, such as your YouFirst Campus student residence. This means you may be eligible. Visit the CAF website (in French) to check that you meet the income conditions.


How do I apply for a housing allowance as a student?

The first thing to do is sign your YouFirst Campus rental agreement. You will need your lease before you can go any further.

Next, the easiest way is to apply directly on the CAF website.

To complete your file, you will need:

  • A completed rental confirmation form (attestation de loyer) signed and dated by YouFirst, as well as our contact information- you can ask for this document on your YouFirst Customer Account. 
  • Your RIB (relevé d’identité bancaire — bank account details)
  • A copy of your proof of ID
  • Your CAF number and your parents’ number, if you already have a Carte Vitale (French health insurance card) with a social security number. Don’t have a Carte Vitale yet because you’re an international student? Take a look at the procedure just below the box.
  • Your income amount over the last two years


It can take up to three months to process an application for a housing allowance… and you may be waiting a bit longer than that since you will receive the money from the 1st of the following month. For example, if you apply for an allowance on 15 August, the calculation of your allowance will begin on 1 September. But, it could be later depending on the time it takes to process your application.

Top tip: Get ahead of the game and sort it as soon as you receive your lease.



Etudiant se renseignant pour les aides d'une résidence YouFirst Campus

What are your plans for the summer holidays?

As the end of the student year approaches, the CAF will ask you via your online account if you want to remain in your apartment in July and August.

If you don’t say otherwise, default option taken into account by the CAF is you’re leaving so make sure that you respond if you want to keep your lease during the summer.
To keep your accommodation and the housing aid, don’t forget to renew your lease.

Housing aid if you are an international student

Good news: As an international student, with YouFirst Campus, you are entitled to ALS, a monthly housing aid paid by the French government.

To qualify, you must meet four conditions:

  • You must have a residence permit of at least four months that is valid for the current year
  • Your main residence must be accommodation in France with a lease
  • You must be enrolled in the student social security scheme
  • You must submit an income tax return, even if you did not earn any income in France


Have you registered with the French student social security scheme yet?

If not, register now via the dedicated website: https://etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr/#/

You will need to provide a number of documents for this too:

  • Your national identity card or passport
  • Your residence permit
  • Your proof of education for the current year
  • A parental consent certificate if you are under 16 years of age
  • Your IBAN (bank details) for your reimbursements
  • A civil registration document, such as a full copy of your birth certificate, a short-form copy of your birth certificate with parentage details, family record book or marriage certificate

A few practical tips to wrap things up

In France, administrative processes can take a while. A long while. So, send your APL or ALS housing aid application at the beginning of the lease, even if you are missing a document.

You can complete your CAF file later, but you will have started the process.

Finally, if you already receive housing aid, remember to notify your CAF centre if you move house in the future. This will allow them to transfer your file and save you time.

See you very soon at your YouFirst Campus residence.