Student housing: a top priority for the French government


On November 21st, Université Paris-Dauphine hosted the second annual Rendez-Vous du Logement Etudiant, student housing conference, bringing together the industry’s professionals and players: universities, landlords, developers, property management companies, public sector stakeholders…

Frédérique Vidal, (French) Minister of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation, and Julien Denormandie, Secretary to the Minister of Territorial Cohesion, opened the conference by emphasizing how important student housing is to the current administration.

Isabelle Huault, President, Université Paris-Dauphine, took advantage of the opportunity to outline Dauphine’s recent and on-going initiatives to assist students in finding housing. Over the past several years, Paris-Dauphine has implemented a dynamic and proactive student housing strategy, notably:

  • The university acquired 55 student housing units in the résidence Dauphine Arena student hall, located in Nanterre not far from the Grande Arche de La Défense, thanks to support from Fondation Paris-Dauphine. The first Dauphine residents moved in last September; priority was give to scholarship students and students from Paris-Dauphine’s Equal Opportunity Admissions program.
  • ParisDauphine has developed partnerships with the Crous Paris, the Crous Versailles, ALJT, Effidis, and Domaxis to make 300 student housing units available to Paris-Dauphine students.
  • The university launched a dedicated on-line housing platform to put landlords and Paris-Dauphine students in contact.
  • Paris-Dauphine launched a student housing subsidiary, Dauphine Housing, to lease properties and develop student residences.

Our long-term goal is to have a pool of 1,000 student housing units reserved for Dauphine students, a significant advantage for our students given the very tight Paris Region housing market.

Student Housing, a challenge for President Macron’s administration

The two members of government present emphasized how essential student housing is to democratizing higher learning. They underlined how important it is to encourage young people to consider going on to university, and that student housing is a key contributor to students’ academic success. Frédérique Vidal believes that student housing should provide an opportunity for socialization and exchange, and mitigate the risk of isolation. The government has made a commitment to develop student “residences for success”, where each student will benefit from the support of a tutor. The Ministry has also announced the creation of a Student Housing Observatory for the 1st quarter 2018, in order to better quantify and understand student housing needs.

Addressing the issue of the student housing shortage, Julien Denormandie recalled that the Macron administration has launched a plan to build 80,000 student housing units over the next 5 years, and is implementing a tax incentive to free up land for construction, one of the keys to developing student housing. The government has also promised to facilitate access to student housing by creating a special 1-10 month “mobility lease”, with no security deposit, and has launched Visale in partnership with Action Logement. Visale is a free security deposit system that guarantees unpaid rent up to €600/month and any repairs to the rental property that are the renter’s responsibility. Julien Denormandie is convinced that it is time for student housing to move beyond “catching up” and become an innovative force by integrating new life styles like co-working, apprenticeship and work-study, and paying students to study.

Click here for more information about the 2nd annual Student Housing Conference.