Public Policy and Immigrant Settlement

Public Policy and Immigrant Settlement

Edited by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark and Siew-Ean Khoo

This book examines the role of immigration policy, and of economic and social policies involved in promoting the settlement of immigrants to Australia. It is based on research of two groups of recent immigrants who arrived six years apart during the 1990s holding a range of family reunion, skill and humanitarian visas.

Chapter 7: Immigrants’ Housing Outcomes in the Early Years of Settlement

Siew-Ean Khoo

Subjects: development studies, migration, economics and finance, public sector economics, politics and public policy, migration, public policy, urban and regional studies, migration


Siew-Ean Khoo INTRODUCTION All immigrants require accommodation on arrival in their new country of residence and immigrants’ housing arrangements form an important aspect of their settlement experience. Recently arrived migrants, who tend to have higher unemployment rates, may have difficulty in finding affordable housing, particularly if they do not have relatives or friends (Hassell and Hugo 1996, Junankar et al. 1993). The housing arrangements and choices of immigrants can have implications for the demand and supply of housing, particularly in the major cities where most immigrants tend to settle (Junankar et al. 1993). Therefore, the issue of immigrants and housing has been the subject of a number of studies (for example, Hassel and Hugo 1996, Junankar et al. 1993, National Population Committee 1990, Ray et al. 2004, Tonkins et al. 1993). Past research has shown that recent immigrants tend to have higher housing costs than other members of the community (Econsult 1992, Ferris and Silberburg 1982). Studies have also indicated that immigrants to Australia usually progress from shared or rental housing on arrival to buying and eventually owning their own homes, in a similar way to other Australian residents (Junankar et al. 1993). Data for the cohort of immigrants interviewed in the first Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia (Cohort 1) confirm this pattern of progression from renting to buying to owning their own homes during the first few years of settlement (VandenHeuvel and Wooden 1999). This study also found differences in the home ownership rate by type of immigrant,...

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