The Paris Seine Initiative



Student housing is a concern in Cergy-Pontoise, like in the rest of the Île-de- France region, because of a tight market situation. The housing offer on the Cergy campus is insufficient, as almost everywhere on a regional and national level.

Building an attractive housing offer adapted to the students’ needs, ways of life and budget will be an important factor for the development of the International Campus. It will attract students who will create a lively student life in the city, including outside regular school hours, by living on campus.

We are thus planning to eventually offer 5000 new student housing units on the International Campus.

This number is based on a comprehensive assessment of needs:

  • 700 decohabitations: part of the students still live with their parents because they have no other solution, as they cannot find housing in Cergy-Pontoise. Per our estimates, 1500 would like to decohabitate (stop living with their parents). Using a low ratio of 50%, the development of 700-800 new housing units seems relevant.
  • 300 relocalizations: some student residences in Cergy-Pontoise are located far from the schools. Part of the student residents could be relocated on the sites “les Berges”, “le Hub” or “la Dorsale” of the International Campus (300 – 500 capacity).
  • 3000 new students to accommodate in Cergy: population growth and the development of new training offers should lead to an increase in the number of students by between 8000 and 10000 students in Cergy-Pontoise by 2025. Today, 14% of the students in Cergy live in student residences and 24% in private housing. Applying the same percentages, it will be necessary to develop 1100 housing units in student residences and 1900 in private housing, for a total of 3000 housing units. The increase in the number of students may also reduce pressure on the private market, by limiting the percentage of students in private housing to 20%. This would require the development of 1400 housing units in student residences and 1600 in private housing.
  • 1000 international students studying in Paris and housed in Cergy : 6 Paris universities (Nanterre, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris- Sorbonne, Paris-Descartes, Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris Dauphine) are located within a distance of 1h00-1h15 of transportation from the Cergy Préfecture station. These universities have a total of 30000 international students. With the development of an adapted housing offer, partnerships for student housing and pedagogical innovations enabling to take classes remotely from Cergy, hosting 4% of these students (1000-1200) in Cergy seems like a realistic project.

Examples of student housing programs

To achieve these objectives, housing development has to meet specific criteria :

  • Quality standards and associated services
  • An offer adapted to student expectations : apartment sharing, common rooms, meeting places, innovative housing (passive house, rooftop vegetable gardens, refurbished containers, perched housing made of wood)
  • Rents:  they are close to rent levels in Paris (450 euros in student residences, 600-800 euros in private housing). Cergy must develop an offer adapted to the students’ budget.
  • A flexible offer: flexible lease terms, with a diverse usage of housing (tourism, apprentices, trainees, summer schools, conferences, etc.).
  • Proximity: student residences are currently located far from the schools. The International Campus housing units will be located “on campus”, close to transportation, third places and facilities.
  • Student life: the International Campus should stimulate a lively student experience, including outside of regular school hours, thanks to top quality facilities.
  • Autonomy: student housing management should leave room to self-organization.

The presence of teachers and researchers, and faculty staff in general, including outside of working hours, is also a key factor for a successful campus. We plan on developing faculty staff housing within the International Campus:

  • Middle-term (1 month) or long-term (2 years) housing, with different offers: doctoral students, recognized researchers/professors
  • Accommodation for short-term visits or stays
  • Residence on campus or around campus: the new teacher-researchers and young staff members may be interested by living in Cergy, on the International Campus or closeby. We will develop an adapted housing offer and campus services to facilitate the process of finding accommodation, and improve the attractiveness of life in Cergy thanks to the International Campus (facilities, restaurants, cultural venues, etc.)