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Welfare & financial support

Rent subsidy programs and family allowance

In France, family allowances ("allocations familiales") were implemented to support households in their day-to-day expenses such as housing, childcare and education.

As a foreigner, you may apply for family allowance in France. This means that the State can provide you with financial support to help cover your housing expenses and family-related expenses.

The Aide Personnalisée au Logement (APL) rent subsidy program

The Aide Personnalisée au Logement (APL) refers to a rent allowance program. The amount of rent allowance you are entitled to is determined by the Caisse d’Allocations Familiales (CAF). The amount of aid you receive may vary depending on the type of apartment and the number of people living in it.

For you to receive the APL rent subsidy, an agreement has been signed between the landlord and the State. The landlord must inform you of that financial solution.

Subsidied housing (logement conventionné)

Subsidised housing landlords sign a convention with the State. The convention states the maximum authorised rent the landlord can ask for. In return, the State pays part of the rent through the Aide Personnalisée au Logement (APL) rent subsidy program.

You must apply for APL as soon as you start renting the apartment. The amount of APL you receive may vary depending on:

  • your income,
  • the number of people living in the apartment,
  • your employment situation,
  • the area of residence.

For more information about the APL, please go to your local Caisse d’allocations familiales (CAF). You may ask your landlord or the local city hall to know which CAF agency to go to.

Family allowance ("allocations familiales")

If you have at least two children aged under 20 who are depending on you, you are entitled to family allowance, regardless of your family situation and your income.
Find more information on the European Commission guide "Your social security rights in France".

The CNAF Doctoral scholarships and awards

To promote research, the Caisse nationale des allocations familiales (Cnaf) awards two doctoral scholarships and two best master’s research thesis awards each year. For more information, see the Cnaf "Jeunes chercheurs" page (in French).

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Understanding Family Allowance