There are are currently 140,000 low-income families in the French capital who are waiting to get lodged in cheap rented social housing known as Habitation à Loyer Modéré or more usually 'HLM'. It promises to be a long wait. In 2012, for example, fewer than 12,000 families were granted social housing in Paris, and on average the waiting list is three-and-a-half years. In some cases people can wait up to ten years to be placed in accommodation where rents can be two, three or even four times cheaper than in the private sector.
The problem is not helped by the fact that a significant number of politicians on good incomes are themselves living in cheap social housing in the capital, even though they are not at first glance among the poorest or the most needy of cases. Mediapart, for example, can reveal that five assistant mayors of the current Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë are living in social accommodation in Paris, but they are far from being isolated cases. It is believed that up to one in ten of all Paris councillors are in such housing, including representatives of all of political persuasions. Nor is it just local politicians who take advantage of this cheap housing option in a city with some of the most expensive real estate in the world. The 74-year-old former interior minister Jean-Pierre Chevènement lives in a social housing flat, as does one-time minister Fadela Amara, while ex-environment minister Delphine Batho quit her subsidised accommodation just before becoming a minister in 2012.
Since January 7, 2023 our colleague and friend Mortaza Behboudi has been imprisoned in Afghanistan, in the Taliban prisons.
We do not forget him and call for his release.