Researchers from the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research (CCHPR) have published a new article in the Journal of Housing and the Built Environment.

The article is titled: 'Formal and informal dimensions of housing allocation: housing actors and gatekeepers of low-income migrants’ access to housing in the Bronx, New York City'.

Dr Gemma Burgess, Director of CCHPR, and Dr Hannah Holmes, Research Associate at CCHPR, published the research alongside their co-authors Mohammad Usman and Sabina Maslova.

The abstract reads as follows:

It is recognised that migrants’ access to housing in destination cities is shaped by a number of factors. This paper takes as its focus the processes of housing allocation for low-income West African migrants in the Bronx, New York City. Drawing on 37 semi-structured interviews with housing providers and intermediary organisations that perform housing-related functions, the paper builds upon literature on migration industries and informal housing solutions among migrant communities, and reveals the formal and informal systems which migrants must navigate in order to secure housing. The specific roles which housing providers and intermediary organisations – including housing advocacies NGOs, public institutions, and religious groups – play are highlighted. The paper shows that informal processes operating in the low-income housing market in the Bronx mirror the operations of formal institutional structures, but instead of financial and legal grounds for housing allocation, informal migration industries are centred on social ties within the established migrant community. Such arrangements provide much-needed access to affordable housing for low-income tenants and facilitate further migration.

The article has been published as open access.