Saturday, November 25, 2006

The key to solving the housing crisis?


A recent study by the French national statistics institute (Insee) shows that almost 7 million French people (out of a little more than 60 million) live with less than 800 € per month. The high price of housing in big cities like Paris makes it almost impossible for them to find a place to live. To attract our attention to this situation, the Habitat & humanisme association (an association that provides housing to the poor) projected a huge key on the Grande Arche of La Défense. Not sure it will really change anything though...

38 comments:

  1. Well, you know what they say ... awareness is the first step in solving a problem (or something like that).

    I've never seen the Grande Arche at night. Another treat! :)

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  2. Tomate you took the words out of my mouth! We have similar problems in the UK, particularly for the young to find their first home. Awareness is all, though and we say in English, 'to be forewarned is to be forearmed' so perhaps the more people know, more will be done. The sign says share, i think, share what; are the houses provided on shared ownership or partial rent scheme? How does it work i wonder.

    This looks to be a very interesting building. I'd like to travel to the top to get that view, for sure. Tell me, what is happening at the left under the cast of beautiful blue light?

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  3. ooo...beautiful night view photo first.
    and talking about the housing problem,who can help me??? In China, lots and lots and lots people have the same problems, too higher price of the housing...less salary we have. Esp. in the big city like shanghai,beijing or shenzheng...
    recently I heard the news that the average price of the housing in Shanghai is the 15 times of our average salary....ooo,my godness, where is my apartment??

    anyway, still wish have the good weekend everywhere.

    jing
    www.shanghaidailyphoto.com

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  4. Lynn,
    I have 18 (collected) photos of, and from La Grande Arche de La Défense.
    You are welcome to receive them.
    You could ask Eric for my e-mail address?
    Cheers

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  5. At least a group is trying to do something! I was rather dismayed at the response to your homeless person photo a few months back, kind of like, it's a shame, but c'est la vie (just my impression). As we all know, it takes a lot of crying, kicking and screaming to really change anything. Maybe every new residential high-rise would HAVE to provide a certain percentage of their units at affordable, lower rents. Here in the states we can give tax breaks, subsidies, and so on (but it's still not enough). Have to start somehwere, though!

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  6. We also live in an area where the cost of living is extremely high. It is difficult to think about future generations trying to afford living here. It seems that all the young people will have to live somewhere else.
    Great photos lately. I haven't had time to comment but I enjoy them all as usual.

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  7. The photo of the Grande Arche is wonderful, and the message in your narrative is important. The world keeps changing, never static, but it certainly presents problems for a vast majority of people.

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  8. Beautiful photo!

    Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 and grew out of a concept that was begun in 1942 in Americus, Georgia, U.S. Jimmy Carter joined in 1984 and it has since become an international project to develop housing for the poor.

    I have voluteered to help build a habitat house and think it is a very meaningful enterprise!

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  9. Susan, the last time I mentioned Habitat for Humanity here (on the homeless person photo), someone replied on the blog that "we don't allow amateurs to build houses in France, and besides, all new residences in Paris must be multiple units." With that attitude...no wonder it's a big problem. I'm kind of all for unions but really, do you have to be in one to carry some boards to the carpenters? LOL. They'll figure it out...in their own way and own time.

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  10. I love the Grande Arche at night Tomate. In fact, all of La Défense is quite beautiful when it's lit up. I'm just glad that it's not really the heart of Paris such as in many cities where the skyscrapers create the center. Cities like NY, Hong Kong, Shanghai all seem to make sense with skyscrapers as the "heart", but definitely not Paris.

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  11. Totally off-subject, but I just found this search engine which is quite amusing. Not super practical, but entertaining at least.

    http://www.msdewey.com/

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  12. Michael (M.O.S.), what a ripper.
    She's a real little cattle rustler who wants to rule the world!
    And all because of la Grande Arche

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  13. Blondetown, it's a cultural difference of views I guess. Sorry, I don't remember your comment about it on that post....do you donate time or money to them too? It is a good cause. And it helps people help themselves as they participate as well. I looked at your profile...almost a neighbor! haha!

    I liked the "Swimming Pool" movie as well. I don't know many that saw it. So...do you think that the girl was part of the book or that she was real?

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  14. My neighborhood used to be very working class, with small homes. Now developers buy houses, tear them down and build condos and townhouses which for very high prices-mostly to young people. This is causing the property taxes to rise and some of us who have lived in small homes for a long time may not be able to afford to keep our homes due to the rise in taxes. Granted our homes would sell for a lot of $ but we still need a place to live. Scary, very scary.

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  15. By the way, that reminds me, about La Defense: I owe GG an apology! GG, I don't know if you remember but we exchanged some words about La Defense a few months ago? You seemed to think that it's a pretty cool place whereas I remembered it as a lame pile of concrete with a couple of pretend-skyscraper sticking out?

    I was intrigued by your position and even more by the picture or link you or Eric posted at the time showing all kinds of lights and cool buildings, so the last time I came to visit Paris I took the RER and walked around a little bit to form a more "current" opinion of La Defense.

    A good thing I had seen pictures on the Internet before going, because I think I would have had a heart attack or something! The area is sooooooooooooo different from what it used to be!!

    I like the Arch a lot and took a great deal of pictures there; I also like the EDF tower (a tall building with a big "pleat" on the side), among others interesting high rise buildings.

    There was a collection of cows at the time, and there seem to be all kinds of other events going on, free concerts, etc. , modern sculptures or other form of art here and there.

    There is tons of underground shopping, very convenient for people working nearby, WIFI everywhere on the parvis (is it free, by the way?) and now the RER stops at both ends (I don't think it was that convenient back in my days, because I remember having to cross the Pont de Neuilly or Maillot (?) and having walk to the Metro instead. Anyway.

    The area sure has changed a lot for the better, and I have to eat my words now, but I'm glad to do it! :P

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  16. I was looking around the Habitat & Humanisme Association site and thought I'd put here what they have listed as their values. I've made an attempt to translate, but an corrections are certainly welcome!:

    Through its actions, Habitat et Humanisme wishes to promote:

    * un habitat pour tous, à la fois un toit, mais aussi un lieu de vie, de rencontres et d'échange. (a home for all, at least a roof, but also a place to live, meet, exchange)


    * une ville à visage humain dans laquelle des personnes d'origines et de milieux différents cohabitent en harmonie. (a city with a human face in which people of different origins and class live in harmony)

    * une économie de partage, créatrice d'échanges, de liens sociaux, dans laquelle l'homme retrouve sa primauté. (a shared economy, creating exchange of social links, where man can find his roots <--- this last bit I'm not sure about...)

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  17. Eric, Habitat fior Humanity Philadelphia is one of my favorite charities. My family gives them money instead of giving each other (useless) Christmas and other gifts. Jon Bon Jovi and Bill Clinton were here last month dedicating a block of houses. It really *does* change things.
    Plus ca change, plus c'est n'est pas la meme chose.
    (Hope I got that said right.)
    Ujima, just home 3 ayem from enjoying a reggae band and trying to type correctly.

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  18. Michael,
    MOS= maître des synonymes.
    Sorry, the humour has probably worn thin, but you are so very resourceful.
    I am sure I can speak for many in thanking you for thorough research and the entertaining way you deliver it.

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  19. Michael, just the one on the flickr photo link. What would you like to know?

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  20. M. Benaut, how kind of you! I'm ok though, thanks, just to view this lovely pic of the le grande arche, it's enough for me!

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  21. Ok after much sweating with the new Beta - it beat me for sure and I'm still fine tuning it - i have a new daily photo blog for Cheltenham UK if anyone would like to take a peek, to get me started. Thanks!

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  22. Eric, beautiful photo and a wonderful organization. And a personal and hearty thank you from me to you.

    Michael, I'm being quite amused right now watching Ms. Dewey wait fo rme to type anything. Thanks for sharing this with us! Apparently Paris is defined by grafitti and rap music. Thank you Ms. Dewey This is certainly most entertaining! You know, she kinda looks like Teyla from "Stargate: Atlanta." Just a bit.

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  23. M. Benaut said..."MOS= maître des synonymes" VERY FUNNY! Thanks for the compliments M. Benaut, but I honestly discover something new about Paris every day through this blog even after living 9 years. I enjoy finding out more, so when I do, I like to share it. Glad you like it.

    Susan, I was just wondering if you had your own blog since when you post here it's a plain text versus a link.

    And Soosha, so glad you liked the Ms. Dewey link. Very clever approach but the search results aren't so user friendly. I do love the way she seems to be looking at you which kind of makes the internet more personal.

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  24. I think there should be more sites like that. It's more fun, and kinda futuristic! In fact, someone should put out a desktop computer helper along the lines of Ms. Dewey and give the consumer a choice about how their little helper would look. a kindly and helpful granny? A good looking man/woman librarian type? A fun and entertaining kid who loves to bounce around your computer helping you? Take your pick!

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  25. Soosha, did you try asking her personal questions? It's great. I started with simple search words, but then thought, "hey, what if I ask her old she is?" EXCELLENT! The more personal you get, the better she's programmed. Do you think her developers thought that only perverts would use her "skills"?

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  26. Nah, haven't done that yet. I crtainly will. I'm sure there are plenty of pervs out there who will try ...distasteful stuff!!!

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  27. First, Eric, beautiful shot. Second, Michael, thanks for Ms. Dewey. Fun engine.

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  28. Must try this Ms. Dewey lark... thanks Michael for being my first commenter! I do have other blogs but this is my first city one, Cheltenham Uk.

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  29. Beautiful photo Eric, but I'm a bit disappointed. I thought you were about to give us a key to the city!

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  30. Lovely to see HFH raising awareness of individual response and working together to create affordable housing being the key. Eric, I love seeing the Grande Arche bathed in golden light, and the night sky clouds a deep rust color. I love your wonderful night shots!
    -Kim

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  31. Here's to hoping the key on the grande arche changes something. Highlighting it on your blog is a good place to start recognizing the effort.

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  32. http://www.adquity.com

    Classifieds for our community. Buy, sell, trade, date, events... post anything. Adquity Classifieds.

    http://www.adquity.com

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