A new report reveals the difficulties faced by migrants and refugees in accessing housing and employment in small and medium-sized towns and rural areas across eight EU member states
The working paper, based on more than 650 interviews with relevant public and private actors at the local, regional and national levels, found that structural, policy and societal factors are key in determining migrants’ access to housing and employment.
While general labour shortages can facilitate migrants’ access to employment, there is a general housing crisis in the eight countries, making it difficult for newcomers to find a place to live. Policies are also key when explaining access to housing and employment. Interestingly, the most relevant policies are not necessarily those that target migrants but rather social policies in general. Discriminatory practices are also cited as a key factor hindering access to housing and employment for migrants, with such practices more common regarding access to housing. When it comes to local responses, the size and political orientation of local governments were found to be the most relevant factors. However, local responses are also shaped by higher levels of governance, including national and regional policies and legal frameworks, as well as approaches to integration and diversity.
This working paper is part of Whole-COMM’s Work-Package 4, focusing on local integration policies, structures of support and street-level bureaucracy practices. Whereas this paper targets primarily the academic community, based on this study, Whole-COMM’s researchers will formulate policy recommendations on how local policies, structures of support and practices can improve post-2014 migrant integration and equality in access to rights.
Click here to read Work-Package 4 Country Reports on access to services.