Audrey Hepburn once said that Paris is always a good idea. Paris does not just seem to be a good idea but to have a good idea. About a year ago, the city announced a plan to stop housing displacement in central neighbourhoods and the creation of "ghettos for the rich". The Council of Paris published a list of 257 addresses, i.e. over 8.000 flats, that the city would have the "right of first-refusal" to buy. These flats are located in areas that are gentrified and the city aims to increase subsidised rental options and to ensure that at least some remain affordable to middle-income Parisians, the "great forgotten ones".
"Choosing diversity and solidarity, against exclusion, social determinism and the centrifugal logic of the market. It also aims to reduce inequalities between the east and the west of Paris in particular, developing social supply where it is insufficient." Ian Brossat, mayor's aideIn other words, when a flat on the list comes of for sale it must first be offered to the city at the market price; the price is decided by the city. If the landlord or landlady does not wish to accept the offer, they can appeal to an independent judge in order to have it repriced. The plan is certainly not cheap but worth it as it "is essentially to give Paris the ability to act as a social-mix monitor, steeping in to prevent social segregation in the public interest if they feel it is under threat." No matter if it is going to be a success, it "deserves credit for really trying." (Citylab)
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