This piece, from November 2014, was published on the New Statesman’s sister site, CityMetric.
Paris’ new mayor Anne Hidalgo has found a new way of liberating highly-sought after council apartments, and so help alleviate the city’s housing crisis: force their publicly-employed tenants to leave.
There are 163 city councillors under Hildago’s jurisdiction; 11 of them currently live in council housing (Habitation à Loyer Modéré, or HLM, a phrase which translates roughly as “rent-controlled housing”). Hidalgo has given them until 20 September to promise to seek alternative accommodation. While no city councillors have actively contested the directive, and some have already made the necessary move, the declaration has been met with reluctance: one described the departure from her apartment as being made “with a gun against my head”.
The rest of the piece is available here.