Presentation on theme: "Immigrant Women and Housing: A research agenda Understanding the Deepening of the Feminization and Racialization of Poverty. VANCOUVER STATUS OF WOMEN."— Presentation transcript:
Immigrant Women and Housing: A research agenda Understanding the Deepening of the Feminization and Racialization of Poverty. VANCOUVER STATUS OF WOMEN
The Feminization & Racialization of Poverty Of women living in poverty today, there is an over-representation of immigrant, Aboriginal, and women of colour (Moore, 2003). We need data on immigrant women renters. Homelessness Immigrant women is rarely a variable in housing stats and policies literature. Canadian housing policies are market-based and privilege male-led families.
In a market-based system… security of housing is dependent on ones relationship to the labour market racialized women are secondary labour force doubly disadvantaged in the acquisition of secure housing. The quality of housing is determined by ones ability to pay. Power of landlord (owner) outbalances that of tenant (homeless). Has created an underclass of welfare recipients (64% to pay rent) and the homeless. Cycle of homelessness! Housing is a commodity not a right!
In a Male-led Family System: The beneficiaries of housing policy are primarily men-led families Mother-led families have special needs that private housing market is unable to provide and public sector has failed to provide. Housing is a concept/tool for social control. Housing policies institutionalize and systemically discriminate against low-income immigrant women.
Racialized Immigrant Women Are an enormous source of social capital and labour skills. Underpaid skills that dont match their financial responsibilities over their families (in Canada and/or back home). Income must be distributed between rent, food, bus fare, … remittances. Work for training-wage or minimum income wage a problem when access to decent housing is determined by income.
Poverty Limits your Choices Homelessness is not an option:Size of family is larger than (Canadian) average; fear of deportation; removal of their children. Vulnerable to family violence; inhuman working conditions; poverty; harassment (landlord).
Recommendations: Funding for Grassroots and/or Advocacy Groups who specialize at helping immigrant low-income women understand and defend their tenant rights. Settlement services help some find affordable (yet not decent) housing. Settlement service providers need training on gender- awareness. Multiple layers of oppression (wars, systematic colonialism, sexism, racism) in addition to current Canadian housing policies deepen poverty among immigrant/refugee women.
Finally: Work more collaboratively and make research more encompassing. Involvement of grassroots women in research and decision-making processes of planning and policy development sustainable development. Governments agencies should be providing hosing reports in immigrant womens housing experiences. These agencies should consult with existing agencies on the status of racialized women.