The Housing Geographies of Refugees in Western Countries

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 3:55 PM / 5:35 PM (MDT)
Room: Balcony A, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Hala El Moussawi
Chairs: Hala El Moussawi


Accessing good quality housing and (re)making home are becoming increasingly precarious in Western societies and represent one of the biggest practical challenges for mobile populations. Multi-layered regulations, waiting periods, discrimination, and housing crises, among others, increasingly complicate refugees’ housing trajectories in host countries. Recognized refugees begin their journey for finding individual housing after long periods of movement restrictions and confinement in government reception facilities, or designated localities, which they experience sometimes even after being granted the refugee status.

Scholarly works have highlighted the importance of housing in the settlement of newly arrived refugees as a first step for attaining basic needs and a base from which they can address the challenges of settling successfully. In practice, housing and home are relationally engaged with people and places.The documentation of the search for housing can highlight the social relations and interaction refugees have with co-ethnics, other migrant structures, and host communities in time and space.

Taking this into account, this session seeks contributions from critical geography and beyond which examine the dynamics of newly arrived refugees’ experiences through the medium of housing and home after receiving their refugee status. It looks for papers engaged in documenting the nuanced struggle for access to housing for recognized refugees after leaving reception centres in Western countries. Considering housing in an era of mobility, and as refugees tend to be highly mobile in search of affordable and appropriate housing, this panel gives special attention to the housing trajectories of refugees in the first years of settlement, looking for longitudinal aspects of studying their experiences as they navigate the housing market.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Hala El Moussawi*, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, The Housing trajectories of Refugees in Belgium 20 3:55 PM
Presenter RAFIK ARFAOUI*, , Socio-spatial dynamics in non-metropolitan areas in the light of the housing trajectories of refugees and rejected asylum seekers 20 4:15 PM
Presenter Peltier Emma*, , Romanian migrants in the Paris region : barriers for housing, tactics for surviving 20 4:35 PM
Presenter Angeliki Paidakaki*, KU Leuven, Tracing transition pathways towards egalitarian urbanities through housing alternatives for refugees. The case studies of Vienna and Madrid. 20 4:55 PM
Presenter Shannon Damery*, University of Liege, When House is not Home: Young refugees creating home in the city of Brussels 20 5:15 PM

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