The photographic collection of the Ministry of Reconstruction and Town Planning houses five series of reports on housing conditions in run-down districts. Recently, there has been some interesting research done on these photographic campaigns, which were carried out from 1945 to 1958. The reconstruction included a program for the eradication of these "habitat défectueux". In this respect, the photographic reports help to examine the ministerial propaganda in support of modernization policies. The analysis of the negatives highlights the documentary value of the reportages which were entrusted to official photographers who are rarely identifiable. At the same time, it shows an interesting connection between these photographic collections and the sociological investigations carried out by Robert Auzelle and Michel Quoist in the same period. The former was an urban planner and theorist who introduced the contributions of urban sociology to the study of housing; the latter was a priest and sociologist who supported the working class. The investigation of these MRU collections is opening the door to a new field of research and, at the same time, it leads to a general reflection on the use of photographs as an instrument of documentation, fund raising and propaganda.
Keywords: Photographic reportage, Sub-standard housing, Robert Auzelle, Michel Quoist, Henry Salesse