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According to a recent study by the Institut Paris Region (IPR), the housing overcrowding rate in Île-de-France increased by 0.6% between 2008 and 2018. The percentage of households that are cramped in their homes is particularly important in the social rental stock. A lack of affordable rental and buy-to-let offers in the private sector is identified as the main cause of this trend.
Overcrowding was concentrated in intramural Paris and the inner suburbs
The IPR study suggests that “ 2.7 million inhabitants of Ile-de-France lived in housing that was too small in 2018 », i.e. one out of four French people. The region stands out from the rest of France, where the overpopulation rate is half as high and tends to stabilize. Its authors draw attention to this
Two-thirds of these homes are located in the heart of the capital and in the inner suburbs, but the phenomenon is gradually spreading to the outer suburbs as well.”
It particularly affects cities that have a significant proportion of old or run-down properties in social or private parks, which are more affordable for small budgets. The list includes 11 Paris districts as well as 22 Seine-Saint-Denis communes.
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Profiles of people most affected by overcrowding
This planning agency’s investigation also reveals that “ the first to be affected are single-parent families », this indicator rises to 33% in this category of the population. For comparison, for couples with children it is “only” 19%, and for childless couples it drops to 5%. The share of people who live in too cramped housing is also high among those who have decided to share accommodation with third parties rather than with their family members, as well as among young people, most of whom are under 25 years old.
Another lesson of study,
Important 80% of these Ile-de-France residents are tenants of their main residence and in social rental funds, overcrowding has increased by 2%.
IPR attributes the problem to “weakness of affordable supply in the private sector, both to buy and to rent”.
Due to the lack of funds to become owners due to high prices in the private sector, they do not have the opportunity to move. Many young people thus continue to live in the family home, while separated couples remain under the same roof for lack of an alternative.
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Development of overcrowding in the Paris region since the pandemic
Since the health crisis in Île-de-France, a change has been observed in the housing market. According to Martin Omhovère, director of the habitats department and the IPR company,
When working remotely and schooling at home, many households suffered greatly from a lack of space and could not fit everything in.
As a result, as soon as the travel restrictions were lifted, many fled the center of the capital in favor of the suburbs, taking advantage of the still very attractive interest rates on loans, negotiated real estate agents. Some even moved to the provinces, especially those who continued their activities at a distance. Their goal is to get an area and, if possible, to have an outdoor space (garden, terrace, etc.). However
The IPR emphasizes that “not all of these households have been affected by overcrowding and have sufficient resources to acquire a property.”