Dr Lisa Goodson has recently completed a report funded by the Urban Land Institute to examine the innovations in social housing being driven by rapid scale immigration. The report, Mass migration and real estate in European cities, highlights how immigration has brought changes to the structure of cities, bringing about a need for multi-sectoral responses in areas such as social housing.
Dr Goodson 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.”
The report highlights the scope for social housing and social integration to work together to create inclusive societies. Due to the rapid nature of immigration and growing populations, the speed of change in a traditionally slow responding sector also has the potential to benefit service users, ensuring new migrant populations move into cities that can respond to their needs and aid their potential for integration.
The report also outlines how changes to social care can drive new methods in construction and urban planning with flexible high density forms of housing being required to meet demand. Such changes would also positively impact wider populations in cities facing a shortage of housing stock such as London.
In addition to the opportunities, the report also presents a number of challenges to be addressed 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 also identified to ensure cities can respond to migration in a sustainable manner.
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