High Rents Push Poor out of Paris Laws Easing Rent Control and Demand from International Businesses Encourage Speculators. AFFORDABLE HOUSING

By Howard LaFranchi, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, August 22, 1990 | Go to article overview

High Rents Push Poor out of Paris Laws Easing Rent Control and Demand from International Businesses Encourage Speculators. AFFORDABLE HOUSING


Howard LaFranchi, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


IN Paris's 20th arrondissement, a working-class rim of the city, immigrant families return to their apartments after vacations to find their furniture and other belongings thrown out of the windows to the courtyard below. The building's new owner wants to renovate it for higher profit, and so strong-arm tactics are used to get the renters out.

Not far away in a dilapidated 170-year-old neighborhood called the Goutte d'Or (the "drop of gold"), Khiter Zaidi, a tile layer, spends his days putting finishing touches on expensive new apartments. He wonders how much longer his family can stand the 120 square-foot room they have been renting for 12 years.

The neighborhood is undergoing a major renovation project, and as Mr. Zaidi notes, "The city says they want families to live here." But the Algerian and father of four says what is being built is either too expensive or tacitly off limits to immigrants. "There's no place left here for families like mine," he says.

Farther north in Montmartre, at the front steps of Sacre Coeur Basilica, Mediba Sankare camps out with his and eight other families in a tent they have kept there for 92 days to protest the lack of affordable housing in Paris.

"I have lived in Paris for 27 years," says Mr. Sankare, who was routed from his building 10 months ago when the city said it was about to collapse. Since then, he has found nothing.

"We feel this neighborhood is our home," says the print-shop worker, "but it doesn't seem to have any more room for us."

These families, all of whom pay their modest rents faithfully, are discovering what thousands of other poor and working-class families across the French capital already know: An affordable and decent home - even one with 19th-century fixtures (no shower and a toilet on the ground floor) - is becoming nearly impossible to find in Paris.

The problem is concentrated in the city's far northeast neighborhoods, in parts of the 18th, 19th, and 20th arrondissements that have been havens for poor working families, especially the Africans and North Africans that are not often welcome elsewhere.

But in recent years the desirability of central Paris as a place to live and work has opened all 20 of the city's arrondissements to intensified pressures. Laws easing rent controls have encouraged new construction and renovation, and the scarcity of land and buildings in the central arrondissements has pushed speculators to neighborhoods formerly ignored.

"We're betting on the 19th!" reads the glossy brochure of a development company that is building apartments in areas that hadn't seen privately funded projects for decades.

Although Paris is already an international city, the pressures are expected to build further as Europe approaches the 1992 single market and international companies seek office space - and convenient living quarters - in select European cities.

Earlier this year, French President Francois Mitterrand deplored publicly that Paris office and housing prices "are catching up with Tokyo," something of an exaggeration perhaps, but a reflection of how the steep price climb is perceived. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

High Rents Push Poor out of Paris Laws Easing Rent Control and Demand from International Businesses Encourage Speculators. AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.