Challenges presented by mass migration are driving new solutions around affordable housing, report finds

Movement of migrants into and across Europe has presented huge challenges for the housing sector. However, a new report has found the urgency created by significant immigration is helping drive innovations and solutions around affordable housing that would have otherwise taken many more years – which will be of considerable use in tackling the wider housing crisis.

The report by academics at the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) here at the University of Birmingham summarised the findings from a research project funded by the Urban Land Institute, which aimed to understand the approaches adopted by the real estate and land use industries to help integrate refugees into European cities.

Lead author Dr Lisa Goodson, from the School of Social Policy said: “We identified a number of opportunities for the housing sector that have come about from the challenge of housing migrants, such as greater innovation in construction to provide more high density, flexible and low cost housing, and slicker planning processes with an openness to trying new approaches.”

Members of the Urban Land Institute across Europe were surveyed to build a picture of the solutions that have been formed to meet migration-related demand in different countries. Interviews with professional experts in 11 countries then followed, along with case studies to look in detail at the effects of migration on Germany, Sweden and Turkey.

The study also identified a number of challenges, including the current lack of specialist expertise that spans both migration and land-use. The need to develop a new generation of experts knowledgeable about both real estate and social issues was identified to ensure cities can respond to migration in a sustainable manner.

The full report is available to read here.