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(Im)migrants’ residential geographies in urban Canada: housing crisis and exclusion at the intersections of class and identity

15:30, Monday 8 May 2023 EDT (1 hour 30 minutes)

(Im)migrants undergo significant transitions when settling in Canada and especially when they are searching for housing. The main aim of this session is to examine the housing experiences of (im)migrants (including permanent residents, refugees, temporary migrants, and international students) from an intersectional perspective with a particular interest in the role of class and visible minority identity. Specifically, we are interested in understanding the influence of local housing markets in interaction with (im)migrants’ identity characteristics (ethnicity, race, gender, culture, language, religion, values), and in turn the impacts on their residential behaviour, including the types of challenges they face and the potential strategies they develop to overcome barriers. To elaborate, the scarcity of affordable housing options, coupled with increasing cost of living, rising property values and rental rates, and the financialization of housing, may force some immigrants, as well as larger communities, to relocate to areas where they can find more affordable housing. Discriminatory practices in the real estate industry such as redlining, steering, discriminatory advertising and lending are another issue that motivates certain ethno-racial groups to concentrate, segregate, or disperse spatially. The focus will not only be on understanding the role of class, culture and identity issues for visible minority (im)migrants, but also on critically re-examining broader questions relating to the role of housing in (im)migrants’ socio-economic integration and their experiences of urban displacement and increased housing insecurity and precarity. Among other things, the papers in this session will help to shed light on novel dynamics of structural exclusion, while identifying effective modes of resistance, strategies, and critical interventions from which community leaders/organizers and service providers can learn and replicate elsewhere.

This session aims to gather together geographers and scholars from other disciplines who wish to engage on the housing experiences of (visible minority) (im)migrants and related issues. We are looking for papers on topics that include (but are not limited to): 

  • Immigrants’ socio-economic integration through housing
  • Immigrants’ housing careers and social mobility
  • Immigrant settlement and experiences of gentrification and urban displacement
  • Precarious housing and homelessness among visible minority immigrant groups
  • Racialized dispossession and urban politics of resistance
  • Identity, cultural minorities, and spatialized experiences of gender, race, class and sexuality in and through home/housing
  • The social, cultural and political significance of home for visible minority (im)migrants
  • Spatialized experiences of urban inclusion and intersecting exclusions
  • Intersections and links between immigration, and housing policy changes in Canada.

Presentation 5:

Presenter: Monika Imeri, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University, ON

Title: Centering voices and experiences: intersectional realities of displacement and precarious housing among visible minority (im)migrant tenants in West Centretown, Ottawa

Keywords: Displacement, housing precarity, visible minority (im)migrant tenants, West Centretown  

Presentation 6:

Presenter: Maryam Foroutan, Graduate student, Department of Geography, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL

Title: Exclusion and insecurity; International students’ housing experiences in Newfoundland and Labrador

Keywords: Housing, international students, COVID-19, Newfoundland and Labrador

Presentation 7:

Presenter: Susana Cadavid, Masters student, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, National University of Colombia

Title: Immigration and urban growth in the Toronto region: 2011-2016

Keywords: immigration, dwellings, urban growth, Toronto region

Discutant : Michael Buzzelli

Master of ceremonies
Seneca College
University of New Brunswick
Chercheuse postdoctorale
National University of Colombia
Memorial University
Graduate Student
Carleton University
PhD Candidate
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