Autonomous and sustainable housing pathways for migrants: experiences of social innovation
Chairs: Marzia Bona & Johanna Mitterhofer (Eurac Research, Italy)
The panel invites contributions exploring the policies and practices related to autonomous and sustainable housing pathways for migrants.
Access to adequate and affordable housing solutions for migrants is a key determinant of successful integration, impacting on employment and education opportunities as well as on the interactions between migrants and host communities. Yet several factors make it difficult for migrants to find adequate and long-term housing. These include the lack of transition pathways, for beneficiaries of international protections, from reception facilities to autonomous solutions; increasing housing prices; shortages of affordable and social housing, cut in public housing spending, and discrimination on the housing market. All these elements call into question key aspects of social justice. Access to decent and stable housing is in fact the outcome of a complex process of social construction in which the path of mobility, both geographical and social, interacts with the factors of social and economic stratification, with the legal constraints deriving from the policies that characterise the host context, determining specific settlement models (Fravega, 2018).
Such processes can be initiated, supported or reinforced by activities pertaining to the realm of social innovation, aiming to promote “changes of attitudes, behaviour or perceptions […] leading to new and improved ways of collaborative action within the group and beyond” (Neumeier 2016).
We therefore invite elaborates focusing on social innovation endeavours aiming to overcome the bottlenecks preventing stable and decent accommodation for people with migration background. We welcome papers adopting an inter-disciplinary approach and embracing a variety of perspectives, including the micro (individual), the meso (organizations) and the macro (institutional) levels. Of particular interested are contributes adopting a territorial approach, that is linking specific trajectories with the territorial feature of the context in which these unfolds, as well as the urban-rural nexus.
Paper proposals may address the following non-exhaustive list of topics:
- Housing as a relational asset, mediating social capital with the local communities
- The role of social services and NGOs in promoting autonomous and sustainable housing paths for migrants;
- Assessments of experiences of social innovation in the field of access to housing, including factors of success and failure
- The role of gender as a factor influencing the access to adequate and stable housing solutions, and social innovation experiences addressing such role
- the effect of social housing regimes of migrants’ access to adequate and stable housing solutions
- Housing issues from a urban-rural perspective, including contextual factors (segmented housing market, territorial structure, discrimination)
- The agency of social services
- New or revised methods to assess social innovation in the field
- The agency of migrant individuals and groups
Key words: integration; local government; social justice; social capital; NGOs