Lacking Adequate Housing, French MPs Sleep in Their Offices

Recently-instated MPs spend increasing time at the National Assembly, creating a housing shortage that causes some French MPs to resort to sleeping in their offices.

With some members camping out with sleeping bags in their offices, the Palais Bourbon, the seat of the National Assembly, now resembles a college campus more than a governmental building. Many of the campers belong to President Macron's La République En Marche party.

According to Thierry Solère, an MP who runs the Assembly, it is forbidden to sleep in an office without a bed. He reminded his colleagues of the fire safety regulations that require offices without beds to remain empty overnight.

Usually, MPs who don't receive offices with beds can find a space in one of the 50 rooms provided at the Assembly hotel. The increase in attendance at the National assembly by new MPs easily fills the extra rooms.

One of the new République MPs, Catherine Osson, explained that she and the other new members prioritize spending time at the Assembly. "It's important to show up at the beginning of our mandate," she said.

Although MPs can stay at hotels when space at the Assembly isn't available, some don't have the money to pay in advance. Ms. Osson noted that many MPs find themselves in a tricky financial position; she disclosed that she, like others, took out a loan to finance her campaign.

Also, MPs may stay in their offices out of convenience since sessions often run until late in the night.

Assembly members can utilize housing at either the Palais-Bourbon accommodation or at 101 Rue de L'université, which lies nearby. Osson says that while the Palais-Bourbon's location, right above the Assembly, can't be beat, most MPs like the modern style of the MP housing better.

The Parliamentary holiday started on August 9th, so MPs will not lack for housing over the next few days.

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