“Building a-Where-Ness: Housing Access Strategies of Internationally Protected Individuals”

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 11:45 AM
Room: 311+312
Oral Presentation
Giulia BORRI , BGSS/ Humboldt Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
“Building a-where-ness: housing access strategies of internationally protected individuals”

Alongside citizenship there is an increasing number of legal statuses that are temporarily limited among which refugees, asylum seekers and internationally protected individuals. These categories share the same territoriality with citizens, although they have limited rights. Most importantly, they have different access possibilities to such rights.

Despite the creation of a common European asylum system, issues regarding reception and integration of refugees and internationally protected people are still heavily relying on nation state decisions and their policies. This happens within a context of restructuring of welfare and decentralization of competences from the central level to regional and local levels that addresses not only the territorial dimension of policies but also the actors involved in their implementation, leading to a subsidiarization of social policies (Kazepov, 2010).

Temporary protected individuals are caught in a mechanism of bureaucratic and juridical obstacles that displays itself as multi-layered according to different territorial levels: interestingly the fact that the rights of these categories are anchored at the national and even the supra-national level (EU Regulations, Conventions) does not necessarily imply a correspondence at the local level.

Through the findings of a multi-sited research in two local societies in Europe, Turin (Italy) and Berlin (Germany), this contribution means to offer an insight on how boundaries are produced within both cities, and what practices are enacted by internationally protected people in the process of access to housing policies. It is going to point out how the interplay of normative settings on different scales hinders the access of internationally protected people to public services at the local level.