Sort by *
04 October 2022
Organisation funded by public charity
The Court of Accounts ensures, during its audits of organisations making public appeals for
donations, that the funds collected are in line with these o
rganisations’ stated objectives.
Depending on the case, the Court either certifies the compliance of these appeals or issues a
declaration of non-compliance.
Created in 1990, the “Fondation Abbé Pierre pour le logement des défavorisés” is a mem-
ber of the Emmaüs movement, which brings together the organisations affiliated to the
Emmaüs France federation. Its links - organic and financial - with the latter constitute a
particular feature in the landscape of foundations, a source of strengths but also of com-
plexities. Over 90% of its funding comes from the public (donations, gifts, bequests, corpo-
rate sponsorship) and it has collected over €40 million, including sponsorship. The founda-
tion was audited by the Court of Auditors in 2006 on the employment accounts from 1999
to 2003, which did not give rise to any major criticism. In the report published today, the
Court audited the financial years 2015-2016 to 2019-2020, which took place in the context
of the health crisis, in which the foundation was heavily involved in helping to stem its im-
pact on the housing of disadvantaged persons.
The Fondation Abbé Pierre carries out its social mission to protect the poorly housed
Benefiting from an unwavering reputation inherited from the fight led by its founder, the Fon-
dation Abbé Pierre is dedicated to an ambitious stated purpose, as the housing issue mobilises
processes that are long and complex to implement. Recognised as a public-interest organisa-
tion since 1992, it has developed day care and boarding facilities, the financial arrangements
for which - largely benefiting from public aid - have been taken over by other stakeholders in
the sector. The foundation certifies structures that respect its charter for each type of ac-
commodation and has thus created a network that it runs. Initially designed to build and re-
habilitate housing, its programmes have gradually been extended to the fight against fuel
poverty and unhealthy living conditions. Almost five hundred partners in a network led by the
foundation’s nine region
al agencies are responsible for construction and rehabilitation. Own-
ers of run-down co-ownerships in difficulty were also included in the scope of the population
supported by the foundation and, on the occasion of the health crisis, it extended its scope to
include access to hygiene, health and food, with a broad conception of its mission which, if it
were to continue, should be more clearly reflected in its statutes.
Nevertheless, the internal audits necessary for its own protection are insufficient
The Court points out that the foundation is weakened by the lack of attention it pays to sup-
port functions and risk prevention. It also notes a certain inertia in taking into account the
recommendations regularly made by the Don en confiance (Donate with Confidence) Charter
Committee and its auditor on these subjects. Internal audits are insufficient, with the risk of
placing the institution in an insecure situation. In addition, the obligations attached to its
membership of the Emmaüs France Federation sometimes place it in a difficult legal situation,
whether it be the management of improperly-worded legacies, the joint collection organised
with Emmaüs Solidarity or the aid granted to the Emmaüs France Federation for living quar-
ters for the companions. Finally, it has been slow to realise the need for a system to prevent
and deal with conflicts of interest. At the end of 2014, its search for innovative solutions led it
to create, together with private investors, a solidarity investment company, SOLIFAP, with the
intention of having a company capable of providing support to partner non-profit organisa-
tions in project engineering. However, the Court notes an incomplete separation of these two
entities, which is required by the laws and regulations. Finally, SOLIFAP acquires real estate
from the foundation with little guidance. The foundation has undertaken to review the posi-
tioning of SOLIFAP and the procedure for transferring property belonging to it to this compa-
The Fondation Abbé Pierre has stepped up its advocacy work
The foundation’s advocacy mission is consubstantial with its vocation. One of its vehicles is the
annual report on the state of poor housing (RML), which has a considerable audience. The
proportion of resources devoted to this mission has increased significantly in recent years and
should be made clear to donors. This could lead the foundation to reflect strategically on the
balance it intends to strike between operational and advocacy activities. Moreover, the Court
indicates that the foundation has transmitted legislative proposals to parliamentarians with-
out having, until December 2021, requested its registration in the directory of interest repre-
sentatives kept by the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life (HATVP).
At the end of this audit, the Court notes that the expenditure incurred by the foundation
complies both with the objectives set out in the public calls for donations and with the objec-
tives pursued by the foundation itself.
Read the report
Emmanuel Kessler
Director of Communications
+33 (0)1 42 98 55 62
+33 (0)6 62 48 07 81
Julie Poissier
Head of Press Relations
+33 (0)1 42 98 97 43
+33 (0)6 87 36 52 21
Court of Accounts
Court of Accounts