Western Europe: Room Shortage

A space race is on in Western Europe, but the goal is not some distant planet: it is a down-to-earth place to live. Europeans are suffering from the tightest housing squeeze since the immediate postwar days. Rentals have soared, and the price of private houses has shot out of reach for millions of people. Last week, as government officials everywhere stewed over what to do, France's overbuilt bureaucracy took a few steps to ease its Crise du Loge-ment. It freed some state lands for housing development, announced a major slum-razing and rebuilding program, and sliced back the paperwork that now...

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