“Living in a campsite is always a default choice”, Gaspard Lion, sociologist

“Living in a campsite is always a default choice”, Gaspard Lion, sociologist

Why is residential camping growing in France?

This phenomenon spread from the 1990s, then especially 2000. It can be explained by the context of social insecurity and the world of work as well as the increase in poverty. Added to this is the housing crisis with a surge in property prices from the 2000s. Access to property has become increasingly difficult, particularly for low-income households. Another reason lies in the extent of the offer in terms of campsites. France has the second largest fleet in the world after the United States and concentrates a third of European capacity. The last element relates to the role of managers who accept, even encourage, this practice.

What are the profiles of the residents?

At the end of my investigation, three profiles emerged. First, people who arrive at the campsite after a destabilization of their trajectory, such as a breakup. Until then sheltered from housing difficulties, they find themselves in a precarious situation and experience it as a social and residential downgrading. Alongside them, there are people in the job market with stable income who decide to live in a campsite after having been tenants in the private or social park. The mobile home appears to them as an alternative to the inaccessible house or pavilion. The third group is made up of more precarious people who have already experienced episodes of poverty and difficulty finding housing. Often, they take very positive ownership of these homes.

What do these three groups have in common?

Living on a campsite always responds to a more or less strong constraint. Even for those who have decided, it is a choice by default, because, often, they aspired above all to become owners.

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