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Sun Dec 21, 2014, 09:44 AM

Paris Wants to Keep Central Neighborhoods From Becoming 'Ghettos for the Rich'


Paris Wants to Keep Central Neighborhoods From Becoming 'Ghettos for the Rich'
The French capital has announced a plan to stop housing displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods. It might be the most radical proposal Europe has seen.

FEARGUS O'SULLIVAN @FeargusOSull Dec 19, 2014


What can you do when a once socially mixed neighborhood starts turning into a “ghetto for the rich”? Quite a lot, according to the city of Paris. As part of a massive home-building drive, the government of France’s capital has just announced a plan to stop housing displacement in central neighborhoods. It might just be the most radical Europe has yet seen. Earlier this week, the Conseil de Paris published a list of 257 addresses (containing over 8,000 apartments) that the city would have a "right of first-refusal" to buy, in order to convert to subsidized housing. Located in areas that are being gentrified, the city’s plans would both increase subsidized rental options and ensure that at least some housing in these areas remains affordable to lower- and middle-income residents. The plans operate within existing laws rather than creating new ones—but as you can imagine, real-estate professionals aren’t exactly delighted with the proposals.

The nuts and bolts of the plan are as follows. When apartments at any of the 257 addresses come up for sale, they must by law be offered first to the city. The apartment should still be sold at the market price —but the price offered would nonetheless be decided by the city, not the seller. If the landlord doesn’t like what’s offered, he or she can appeal to an independent judge to have it re-priced, or can withdraw the property from the market. What the landlord can’t do, however, is sell the apartment on to someone else without the city having bowed out first.

The broader social-engineering goals here are clear to anyone familiar with Paris when you look at where the addresses are distributed on the map. Typically they are in formerly working-class neighborhoods in northern and eastern Paris—Ménilmontant, the slopes north of Montmartre, the eastern end of the Bastille—where lower-income residents are being displaced. In places, the list even reads a bit like a gentrifiers’ streetfinder, with addresses on busy, broadly hip café and restaurant strips Rue Oberkampf, Rue Jean Pierre Timbaud, and Rue de Charonne. According to mayor’s aide Ian Brossat, the move is about:

Choosing diversity and solidarity, against exclusion, social determinism and the centrifugal logic of the market. It also aims to reduce inequalities between the east and the west of Paris in particular, developing social supply where it is insufficient.


The plan’s ambition will come at a cost—literally. If the city is genuinely going to pay market prices, the plan could be expensive, which is why it has set aside €850 million ($1.05 billion U.S.) for purchases. In reality, as this is a right of first-refusal rather than an outright purchase plan, only 100 or so apartments may be bought up during current mayor Anne Hidalgo’s tenure. The idea is essentially to give Paris the ability to act as a social-mix monitor, steeping in to prevent social segregation in the public interest if they feel it is under threat. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.citylab.com/housing/2014/12/paris-wants-to-keep-central-neighborhoods-from-becoming-ghettos-for-the-rich/383936/



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Reply Paris Wants to Keep Central Neighborhoods From Becoming 'Ghettos for the Rich' (Original post)
marmar Dec 2014 OP
corkhead Dec 2014 #1

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 10:02 AM

1. Must be nice to live somewhere that cares about all of its people, not just the filthy rich

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