Monday, March 9, 2015

Social housing and creating ghettoes......

French socialist prime minister Manuel Valls has called for the creation of more 'social housing' in wealthy areas of cities such as Paris, but critics argue that the plan would only create more 'ghettoes' and further encourage the separation of rich and poor. As one centre right mayor put it "You cannot simply force people to live together and hope to create a community".

Following the events of January 2014, Valls has spoken of 'social apartheid' while many argue that creating social housing is counter-productive as it results in huge segregated estates in parts of cities where no-one wants to live (see my earlier post above about Carcassonne) and in reality causes the divisions about which Valls is complaining.

According to a law dating back to 1980, French mayors are obliged to provide social housing as a proportion of all new dwellings but many fail to reach their target due to the high cost of building land and construction. Meanwhile as shown in the case of Carcassonne many subsidised apartments (14% of the housing stock) lie empty for want of tenants.