In September 2024, the Paris Olympic Games will leave a significant material legacy. Minister of Higher Education, Sylvie Retailleau, announced on October 26 in Le Parisien that after the

international competition, 1,667 housing units previously used to accommodate athletes and journalists during the Paris Olympic Games will be repurposed for student housing. A total of 80% of these units are situated in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis, just north of Paris, with the remaining units located in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, in the Lille metropolitan area, in northern France.

The management of this accommodation will be entrusted to private organizations, particularly social housing associations, rather than the regional centers for university and school services (CROUS), as per sources close to the minister, who shared this information with Le Monde.

Will this unexpected development be sufficient to restore the somewhat tarnished Olympic image among students? In the spring of 2023, the education authorities were requested by the Olympic Games Organizing Committee to free up 3,000 of the 22,000 university units in student residences in the Paris region during the event, displacing the usual tenants. This initiative was halted by the Paris Administrative Court, citing that it was not permissible for CROUS to "preemptively organize the vacancy of these accommodations." According to the provisions established in the law of March 26, 2018, concerning preparations for the event, only rooms vacant on July 1, 2024, can be offered to the Committee.

The Paris CROUS has filed an appeal with the Council of State, which is currently pending, as confirmed by the CROUS, which declined to provide specific details regarding the arguments presented. Meanwhile, the Ministry believes that the judge has not invalidated the principle itself, but rather its execution, asserting that "everything will be carried out in accordance with the rules of the law."

Flat-rate Assistance of €100

The minister has also confirmed that a maximum of 2,200 students will be relocated. These students will be accommodated as close as possible to their place of study and will receive a flat-rate payment of €100. Additionally, each of the affected students will receive two tickets to Olympic events. Photo by Anne Jea., Wikimedia commons.