Mayors call for an “emergency plan for the suburbs”
Food insecurity, late payment of rent, broken down urban renewal projects: around thirty mayors are calling for an “emergency plan for the suburbs” in a column published today in the daily The world“The suburbs are on the verge of asphyxiation and their inhabitants are facing numerous crises”, note bitterly these elected officials from various political backgrounds, including many elected officials from the suburbs as well as mayors of large cities such as Paris or Lyon. They speak while waiting for a speech fromEmmanuel Macron on the “2030 neighborhood commitments”, these new “city contracts” which must define the policy in priority neighborhoods in terms of urban renewal, integration or safety from 2024.
Struck by the sharp rise in inflation (+13.2% for food products), “residents are forced not to eat at all meals”, recall the elected officials. The same alarming finding on the housing side, half of the HLM organizations having recorded in 2022 “an increase of more than 10% in the number of rents overdue for more than three months”. Unemployment also hits working-class neighborhoods the hardest, with a rate 2.7 times higher than that of other neighborhoods in urban units. The inhabitants of the districts are also on the front line in the face of the trying heat waves which affected the country in 2022, the mayors recall.
Themselves hit by the increase in the cost of energy and materials, local authorities must also revise downwards urban renewal projects, which have been planned for many years. “Faced with the distress of the inhabitants who have the feeling of being abandoned by the Republic, we are asking the government for an emergency plan for the suburbs”, ask the mayors, noting a “retreat of common law in a number of (their) neighborhoods”.
To help residents overcome sometimes dramatic situations, they are calling for the establishment of a “sustainable system to combat food insecurity”, a freeze on energy prices for social landlords and the release of a matching contribution of €2 billion intended forNational Agency for Urban Renewal (Anru).