Social housing : age-old ideas and the reality

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Pierre CARLI

President, board of directors, Logement français (French housing)

François BROUSSE

President, Richelieu social holding company

Seminar Social life | Thursday June 22, 2006 - 9h - 11h30

Debate frequently arises on the subject of council housing. Some people are surprised by the number of towns which bypass laws which require them to construct 20 % of all housing as social housing. Others, who have a picture in their minds of large, anonymous and run-down housing estates see them as areas of unrest and delinquency, and urge local MPs to protest against their construction. This opposition is based on views which are inaccurate. The new-style constructions are often small and fit well into their surrounding urban environment. The management of this accommodation is very strict with regard to tenants, but it is also capable of showing a human side when faced with situations of people in great need. If an affluent town does not build social housing, it can no longer guarantee quality urban services which the inhabitants require because rents in the town are too high for people working in the education sector and the cultural sectors, as well as ancillary workers such as security guards, and so on. It is time to revise our age-old ideas concerning social housing.

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