The permanent regime of temporary solutions: Housing of forced migrants in Europe as a policy challenge


Periods of forced migration to and in Europe have been common in the past decade and show no expectation of stalling due to ongoing armed conflicts, global inequalities and the adverse effects of climate change. Nevertheless, the provision of accommodation for asylum seekers and refugees continues to depend on temporary, ad hoc solutions. In the context of housing financialisation and shortage of affordable housing across European cities, this decreases opportunities for integration and securing other needs, such as jobs, language acquisition and childcare, but increases the risk of refugee homelessness and social exclusion. Based on cross-national Urban Living Labs exchanges in Leipzig, Riga, Lund, Helsingborg and Vienna, this commentary argues for a European agenda for long-term housing solutions for forced migrants in the arrival and settling phases that tackle issues from discrimination to access, to belonging. Importantly, creating long-term housing solutions for refugees would benefit whole housing systems as instruments of social inclusion.