Keyword: housing crisis

The French mayor back in court for halting evictions of the poor

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Almost a third of the 60,000 population of Vénissieux, close to France’s second-largest city Lyon, in south-east France, live under the poverty line. Every year, its mayor, Michèle Picard, signs municipal decrees to prevent the ordered evictions of dozens of families from their homes, and the cutting off of water and energy supplies to hundreds of others. The decrees are just as regularly challenged in court by the local state authorities of the prefecture, which habitually find favour from the presiding magistrates. This week Picard was back in court to defend her case, just as a new series of evictions get underway. Michaël Hajdenberg reports.

Divide and multiply: the new slums mushrooming in the Paris suburbs

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A recent report published by the Greater Paris regional council shows that every year some 2,000 lodgings are created from the division of hundreds of small suburban houses, converted by often unscrupulous landlords into several tiny living spaces where families live cheek by jowl for exorbitant rents. But, as Michaël Hajdenberg reports, local authorities are mostly impotent to deal with a racket, the consequence of a heightening housing crisis, which is earning slumlords a small fortune.