Report on the multilevel governance of refugee housing in Europe
In relation to our analysis of the International and European regulatory frameworks on the right to housing we have identified challenges related to the different legal categorizations of immigrants which result in exclusion from the right to housing and in increased barriers to integration. From the analysis we conducted in the four countries we have gathered many interesting results. France, alt...hough has a rather centralized administration, presents a typical example of the local turn in migration policymaking in the sense that immigrant integration initiatives, including housing, take place increasingly at the subnational level. In Italy there is
a similar situation although it is notable how divergent responses occur at the different local contexts. In Spain the local level is also in the center of housing policies implementation. The big cities in Spain have been fostering their own approach and collaborating in providing refuge both with each other and with the civil society. In Sweden although integration policies are the responsibility of the local governments, we see an opposite trend towards more central government control.
Overall, in terms of governance we have concluded that the local level in all of the countries has a better sense of the housing needs but not always enough resources or political will to address them. The common denominator for all cases is the important role of NGOs in housing and integration policies. The activities of NGOs have clearly improved integration policies implementation and have filled governmental gaps in providing housing for refugees. At the same time as research shows the increased role for NGOs in migration policy making comes with challenges alongside solutions. Related to the work of NGOs, and often facilitated by them, is the wider inclusion of the society during the process of immigrant integration. We have recorded examples of hosting or co-housing initiatives which can offer larger insights on the link between housing and integration. Housing is more than a space to stay, it is also about being part of a community and therefore living together or close to the members of the society can facilitate integration.
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