Paris signs a temporary occupation charter with 18 developers and landowners

Paris signs a temporary occupation charter with 18 developers and landowners

Promoters, social housing providers, real estate owners and the City of Paris represented by deputy Mayor Jean-Louis Missika met on 26 August 2019 in Les Grands Voisins* to sign an unprecedented text in favour of temporary occupation. A charter that supports an existing practice that allows us to regain extra space in Paris.

Paris signs a temporary occupation charter with 18 developers and landowners

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It was in a place emblematic of temporary occupation that Jean-Louis Missika, deputy Mayor of Paris, and multiple players in the Parisian real estate sector met on August 26. Signing of the “Charter in favour of the development of temporary occupation as a tool for Parisian territory” took place in the former premises of the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul hospital (14th arrondissement), temporarily occupied since 2015 by “Grands Voisins” project. The City of Paris and 18 developers and owners have thus committed themselves to 7 principles to support the temporary occupation of vacant buildings.

The signatories commit themselves first of all to “identify available sites in order to publish data on vacant spaces” but also to “adapt the occupancy charge paid by users to their financing capacity”, “ensure a collective mobilisation of public authorities”, “mix uses and players”, “set up transparent selection criteria” and “evaluate and share the teachings of temporary occupation”.

Projects that work

Owners and occupants of several temporary locations presented their projects, such as the developer Quartus and the Soukmachines association, both in charge of managing the former Christofle silverware production plant in Saint-Denis, which houses workshops, offices, studios and rehearsal rooms covering more than 15,000 sqm.

Les Petites Serres (5e arrondissement) owned by Novaxia and managed by Plateau Urbain, was transformed into a place for entrepreneurs, artists and associations over more than 5,000 sqm. According to Paul Citron, head of development at Plateau Urbain, matching owners and users is meant at “changing the profession of property owner”.

“We try to make sure our buildings are as little empty as possible” claims Paris Habitat, the largest player in social housing in Paris and France’s largest public utility social housing.

Hélène Schwoerer
Paris Habitat

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Supportive institutions

“With such a need for emergency housing, it is abnormal that there are so many vacant buildings,” said Carine Petit, Mayor of Paris 14th arrondissement, who came to support the initiative. Jean-Louis Missika, Deputy Mayor of Paris for Urban Planning, first wanted to differentiate between collaborative projects and illegal squats.

After listing many successful temporary occupations, including the Usine d’Auteuil and the Bercy-Charenton ZAC, Deputy Mayor noted how much this system is “an excellent economic model that avoids downturns”. The City representative also stated his will to bring together all stakeholders on a regular basis in order to “share best practices and better map available spaces”. “This charter is not an end, it is a beginning”.

Originally published in Le Journal du Grand Paris (read French version here).