CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

In a context of a chronic housing shortage, the number of applicants for public housing continues to increase in the major cities of France. However, housing difficulties do not automatically result in demand for public housing. Many people, particularly from the middle classes, are reluctant to apply, despite poor housing conditions. This article examines the motivations of public housing applicants and the conditions under which requests are made in metropolitan Paris, where the housing shortage is most severe. What are the histories and experiences of individuals who put their name on the waiting list? What are the justifications and trade-offs in this choice? Beyond need, there are different conditions necessary for a start in the "career" of an applicant. Having grown up in a working class milieu is a first step, together with negative experiences in the housing market, job losses and family break-ups. At the same time, it is necessary to construct a positive image of public housing. Family and friends, often already in public housing, play a vital role in this process. From the applicant's perspective, public housing provides a way to escape humiliation on the private market while also achieving security and a quality of life. They even see it as a way to break away from working class conditions and economic insecurity and as a way to respond to downward mobility and social injustices.


  • social housing
  • living environment
  • social inequality
  • working classes
  • social injustice
  • social protection
Distribution électronique pour P.U.F. © P.U.F.. Tous droits réservés pour tous pays. Il est interdit, sauf accord préalable et écrit de l’éditeur, de reproduire (notamment par photocopie) partiellement ou totalement le présent article, de le stocker dans une banque de données ou de le communiquer au public sous quelque forme et de quelque manière que ce soit.
Loading... Please wait