Presentation on theme: "New Migration, Class and Housing David Robinson 16 April 2014 HSA Annual Conference, University of York, April 2014."— Presentation transcript:
New Migration, Class and Housing David Robinson 16 April 2014 HSA Annual Conference, University of York, April 2014
use of class in the Weberian sense of being based on common life chances focus on consumption (in addition to production) processes access to housing more than a function of socio-economic status alone conceptualise urban social groups in terms of a struggle over the allocation of scarce resources (housing) 1960s Birmingham - ethnicity a key issue in determining access linked to disadvantage in the market / discrimination in public-sector housing allocation outcome expressed in terms of the formation of different housing classes Rex and Moore (1967) Community and Conflict: a Study of Sparkbrook
immigrants are an underclass in the sense that they are bottom of the class system in relation to employment and housing over represented in the poorest paying, hottest, dirtiest jobs which have the fewest benefits and the least job security found in the housing class with most limited access to good housing occupy the lowest rung in the hierarchy of housing classes in Britain Rex and Tomlinson (1979) Colonial Immigrants in a British City: A Class Analysis
Revisiting housing class.....three key insights Parallels between the present and the past 1.Housing as source of tension and conflict, in the context of a severe housing shortage 2.Limited financial resources and restricted access to social housing directing migrants into the lower end of the PRS and poor quality accommodation Diverging from the past - from progressive to retrogressive convergence 3.The prescience of migrant housing experiences for an increasing swathe of the UK population context = neoliberal governmentality - housing, welfare and labour market reforms dissolution of housing class distinctions; pre-eminence of social class distinctions Summary of my argument
1. Housing Class Conflict Model
housing shortage a crucial factor behind 'racial' conflict (Rex and Moore, 1967) "major cities were drawing in migrants to fill key positions in the local labour market but making no provision of extra housing or other services to meet the needs of the new arrivals. The latter thus found themselves in competition and potential conflict with local residents for the housing and services that were available. In public discussions in Birmingham this conflict was increasingly being expressed in racial terms" (Moore, 2011) the segregation, stratification and conflicts seen in Birmingham could in large part be explained by reference to housing 'classes' which derived not from residents' relations to the means of production but to housing..... Unemployment was at a very low level in Birmingham and the main conflicts appeared to be over access to services and, crucially, to housing (Moore, 2011) resonates with The 1960s
building fewer houses than at any time since ,000 completions in 12/13 (DCLG, 2013a); 240,000 needed to keep up with demand rising house prices & restricted access to mortgage finance - ownership beyond the reach of many, who are left with little option other than to rent (Wilcox, 2008) 1.5 million+ households waiting for social housing* overcrowding on the rise - 600,000+ households (DCLG, 2014) people struggling with the costs of housing - increase in repossessions & eviction notices - 200,000 in 2012/13 (Shelter, 2013) homelessness on the rise...with use of B&B accom at a 10 year high (DCLG, 2013b) 4.9 mill dwellings (22%) fail decent homes standard (PRS 33%) (DCLG, 2014) The English Housing Crisis
migrants = convenient folk devil housing = a key issue around which popular and political debate about the impacts of migration has coalesced anti-immigration groups and far-right parties frequently place housing at the centre of their campaigns claims that British citizens losing in out in the competition for housing "one of the most frequently alleged injustices of new immigration" (Trevor Phillips, 2007) housing as a social force, promoting conflict Blaming Migration
Migration increases demand and drives rises in rent levels "rents overall have been largely unaffected, as some [migrants] have crowded into existing properties and rented poor quality housing shunned by the local population" House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee (2008) Migration increases demand and drives rises in house prices migration = minor factor behind rising demand / prices price rises in London high-end market; price drop in some poorer neighbourhoods zero net migration - still need ~ 250,000 new homes p.a. (Nickell, 2011) Migrants are unfairly advantaged in the allocation of social housing and gaining access ahead of UK citizens eligibility of foreign nationals tightly governed by statutory regulations migrants rarely skilled players of the welfare system entering social housing in relatively small numbers (Robinson, 2010) Three key accusations
Let's talk about housing.... "More than one third of all new housing demand in Britain is caused by immigration. And there is evidence that without the demand caused by mass immigration, house prices could be ten per cent lower over a twenty year period." Theresa May (2012) "we cannot have a culture of something for nothing. New migrants should not expect to be given a home on arrival. And yet at present almost one in ten new social lettings go to foreign nationals. So, I am going to introduce new statutory housing allocation guidance this spring to create a local residence test. " David Cameron (2012) "Given that weve got a housing shortage, any influx from Romania and Bulgaria is going to cause problems" Eric Pickles (2013) "The public dont like the way that taxpayer- subsidised social housing is allocated, when foreign migrants can benefit over local people and members of the armed forces, This perception of unfairness undermines community cohesion and fuels further unsustainable immigration. Eric Pickles (2013)
2. Migrant Housing Experiences
focus on consumption, as well as production processes access more than a function of socio-economic status alone (Rex, 1971) choices within a greater system of constraints than other housing classes immigrants as a distinct housing class immigrants to the city lacked the sizeable and secure income necessary to raise a loan for house purchase excluded from local authority housing by prior-residence qualification discriminatory practice of key gatekeepers in the housing system (estate agents, letting agents, landlords etc.) forced into sub-standard multi-occupied dwellings supplied by private landlords in the inner city - "twilight zone" (Rex and Moore, 1967) resonates with s
migrants earn less than British-born counterparts when first find work: over 30% less for men and 15% less for women (Dickens and McKnight, 2008) high incidence of temporary work; agency working; non standard and unsocial hours (Jayaweera and Anderson, 2008)....unpredictability of work and incomes lack financial resources to access owner occupation restricted eligibility to social housing... directed to lower end of PRS by financial prerogative to minimise costs and maximise capital accumulation poor living conditions and overcrowding inability to pay deposits required by landlords can limit migrants to a migrant housing market accessed via word of mouth (Spencer et al. 2007; Phillimore et al., 2008) income minimising strategies can involve sharing accommodation with other households and absorbing newcomers to share costs (Datta et al., 2006) evidence of people staying with friends or hot bedding to minimise housing costs (Netto et al., 2011; McNaughton, 2008; Dench et al., 2006; Wilkinson, 2012) 2014
Tenure by Nationality (LFS quarterly, April-June 2013) TenureUKEEA otherEU 8EU 2Non EEA Owned outright Being bought with mortgage or loan Rented Total100 Of those renting, type of landlord Local Authority Housing Association Private Rented Total100
Social renting the return of the local residency test to social housing – an overtly discriminatory practice thought to have been consigned to the history books (Ratcliffe, 1999) expectation that LAs use the residence test (Cameron, 2013).... localism? closing key housing option for refugees (Phillips, 2006; Robinson et al., 2007) grappling with bureaucracy and discrimination.... in the context of increasingly light touch regulation (serious detriment test) PRS new requirement on private landlords to check the immigration status of new tenants - incentivising discrimination? Limits on the Housing Rights of Migrants
3. Breaking with the Past - Retrogressive Convergence
From Progressive to Retrogressive Convergence
access to housing more than a function of socio-economic status alone BUT position in labour market (social class) = key determinant of position in housing market discrimination = source of additional problems faced by particular groups....but complex patchwork of status advantage / disadvantage households exercising choice within a growing system of constraints This said.... don't assume a unitary value system in terms of desired forms of housing don't neglect agency and choice recognise differentiation in housing outcomes The Pre-eminence of Social Class
owner occupation increasingly out of reach rising house prices - demand v supply; BTL and housing investment labour market casualisation; falling incomes; financial insecurity availability of mortgage finance the end of social housing as we known it restricted access; increased insecurity; affordability problems (rent rises / HB reform) increasing reliance on the (deregulated) PRS insecurity; poor conditions; affordability problems Mirroring migrant housing experiences
Owner Occupation Private Renting Social Renting Trends in Housing Tenure Source: DCLG (2014) English Housing Survey Headline Report. London: DCLG
Source: ONS (2013) 2011 Census Analysis, A Century of Home Ownership and Renting in England and Wales Owner occupation out of reach
increasing difficulty for first time buyers to raise deposit for a mortgage high house prices - doubling of average house price for FTBs tighter lending requirements and larger deposits declining wage growth / rising inflation....rise of insecure, low paid work sharp rise in zero hours contracts - 55% increase (ONS) - estimates ranging from mill people; fewer hours work, lower gross pay, fewer entitlements; under-employment sharp rise in underemployment increase of 674,000 in pt workers wanting ft work (3 mill+) (Bell and Blanchflower, 2013) agency workers - estimates vary - ~1.3 million (2008); 17,000 agencies rising inequality - increasing gap between rich and poor - rise and rise in Gini coefficient; disproportionate impact of austerity - poorest 10th to see 38% fall in income (Oxfam, 2014) Owner Occupation out of reach
restricted access; affordability problems; insecurity Shortfall in supply 1.5 million people on waiting list 1997/ / ,570 social completions; 643,833 social sales (DCLG, 2014) fall of 100,000 in number of social renters between %+ cut in Affordable Housing Programme; reliance on private finance Tenure reform (Localism Act, 2011) restricted access to waiting list - focus on 'deserving poor' flexible tenancies ("stepping stone" tenure) 'affordable' rents - 80% of market rents Welfare reform and Housing Benefit increase in non-dependent deductions under-occupying deductions - Bedroom Tax cap on total amount of out of work benefits payable to a household payment of Housing Benefit to individuals rather than direct to landlords An end to social housing?
(In)Security assured shorthold tenancies - fixed-term of six months - then landlord can regain possession with 2 months' notice < 20% private renters resident in accom for 5+ years (62% social tenants) Condition 33% of stock non-decent (compared to 15% social housing) Affordability 55% LAs have a median private rent for a 2 bed property that is more than 35% of median take home pay in the area (Shelter, 2011) Welfare reform and Local Housing Allowance maximum rents set at 30th percentile of local rents (rather than 50th) (11/12) switch from 30th percentile to CPI indexation (13/14)...then to 1% p.a. cap on maximum rents for each property size, with 4-bed limit increase age limit for shared room rate from 25 to 35 years Regulation no overarching statutory regulation Private renting - 1 in 5 (50% in London)
1.Housing as a source of tension and conflict s and Migrants directed to lower end of PRS and poor quality accommodation s and Convergence in housing situations and experiences s and 2014 BUT retrogressive (2014) rather than progressive (1960) prescience of migrant housing experiences for increasing numbers of UK population pre-eminence of social class distinctions Reviewing my three key points....
Discursively distinct? blamed for the housing crisis portrayed as a threat in the competition for scarce housing resources BUT conflict over housing in the context of migration represents conflict within, rather than between, classes organisational energy being squandered against allies rather than opponents (Bell, 1977) meanwhile…..the housing crisis goes unaddressed Migrants as a distinct housing class?
Operationally distinct? particular dimensions of prejudice (subjective, institutional, structural) BUT...a complex patchwork of status linked advantages and disadvantages AND increasing numbers of people (migrants / non-migrants) in England are: living with the consequences of labour market deregulation & the rolling back of state involvement in housing provision lacking resources, constrained by the housing market, exercising limited choice exposed to pressures / privations apparent in migrant housing experiences excluded from key social citizenship rights - decent, secure, affordable housing Migrants as a distinct housing class?
learning from the past re-engaging with class.....within an era of neoliberal governmentality pursuing research synergies - migration; housing; labour market studies for migrant studies - putting migrant housing experiences in context...within the restructured English housing system for housing studies - learning from migrant housing experiences...living with the insecurities of the restructured housing system Research Challenge
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