A Crisis that Spans the Atlantic: A Comparative Study of the Housing Crisis in American and French Cities

Student Author(s)

Madeline Brochu

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Pauline Remy

Document Type


Event Date



For immigrants entering into France with nothing but a dream for a better life, housing options that are less expensive are the only true option. Unfortunately, in recent years France has faced a grave housing crisis that leaves this migrant population stranded and penniless. With the number of immigrants growing and the number of available housing options shrinking, les bidonvilles, or slums, are appearing across the country, posing an even larger problem for the quality of life for these people. The history and development of these bidonvilles is comparable to the same history of ghettos in inner cities across the United States. Ghettos, rooted in a history of inequality, poverty and racism, pose a similar problem for the quality of life of America’s minority populations. This research project investigates the shared histories and impacts of this housing crisis that spans across the Atlantic and finishes with a literary exploration of that crisis in Le Gone de Chaâba by Azouz Begag and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.

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