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One of World’s Priciest Cities Turbocharges Affordable Housing

Paris may convert offices, parking garages and defunct hotels to meet a new target to make 40% of homes accessible to people on lower incomes.

Visitors look towards the illuminated Eiffel Tower on Oct. 18.

Visitors look towards the illuminated Eiffel Tower on Oct. 18.

Photographer: Benjamin Girette/Bloomberg

Paris, ranked among the world’s most expensive cities to reside in various surveys, might not make the most obvious of role models for housing affordability policies.

But after succeeding in making 25% of its accommodation accessible to people on lower incomes by the end of last year, the French capital has set a target of lifting that to 40% by 2035. That means a major expansion of public housing so that homes for low-income tenants make up 30% of all units with an additional 10% comprising below-market rate abodes for middle-income tenants, Paris Housing Commissioner Ian Brossat told French media on Sunday.