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The Housing Response to New Refugee Flows in Amsterdam: a Governance Perspective

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To-date, little research has been conducted regarding the governance of long-term housing solutions for refugees. As such, a critical gap remains within academia. This research aims to investigate the importance of housing governance for new refugees in the Netherlands, with a specific focus on the region of Amsterdam. With a pre-existing tight housing market, upon increased refugee flows from 2015, the city struggled to deal with the challenge of accommodating such numbers of newcomers. By 2016, a significant backlog had formed, with many status holders waiting years in reception centres, or Asielzoekerscentrums (AZCs) to be housed elsewhere in the Netherlands. This topic thus warrants greater insight, and will seek to critically examine the nature of housing responses in Amsterdam, identifying a range of stakeholders involved in governance and the formation of networks and issues surrounding common discourse with which to analyse current housing solutions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 key stakeholders in order to gain a deeper insight into these governance processes. The resulting findings concluded that whilst Amsterdam’s institutional presence has resulted in the establishment of effective networks and a common agenda, challenges remain in interactions between institutions and user communities. In order to address these issues, multi-stakeholder collaboration is essential, alongside knowledge distribution and training amongst providers in order to establish a common discourse. Whilst funding disparities between the national and local level pervade, increased collaborative practices would help to narrow these issues. Amsterdam’s pragmatic approach to developing housing solutions during the European refugee ‘crisis’ has resulted in promising examples of best practice from which other European countries may look to guide future solutions with.

Acceptance Date Aug 27, 2020
Publication Date Sep 1, 2020
Journal Journal of Academic Development and Education Student Edition
Print ISSN 2051-3593
Keywords refugees, housing, governance, Amsterdam
Publisher URL


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