Paris looks to build more halls

February 24, 2006

Paris city council is prepared to pay for the construction of more student homes if it can get the land to build them on, Bernard Delano, the capital's mayor, said last week, writes Jane Marshall in Paris.

Mr Delanoë said the city had approved the building of 3,000 units during its seven-year mandate, which ends in 2008, but was willing to finance at least another 500. Suitable sites, rather than funds, were the problem, and he said he was negotiating for release of land owned by the state.

Paris and the surrounding Ile-de-France region have the largest shortfall of suitable student housing in the country, with 13 universities and a host of other higher education establishments within or just outside the city.

French students traditionally attended their local university and lived at home, but with increased mobility and more postgraduate and foreign students, demand for accommodation has risen.

Inner Paris has 300,000 students - 14 per cent of France's student population - and dedicated housing for about 15,000.

Since city hall changed hands in 2001, efforts have been stepped up to increase the capital's student housing stock, with partners including the Ile-de-France authority, the Government (which has main responsibility for student housing), student support and housing organisations, and property development agencies.

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