Many Sociologists have researched the importance of home in various capacities whether through community building, health and wellbeing, safety or intimacy. With the launch of the housing research cluster, we feature presentations from people working on the importance of home as it means in multiple social worlds. The research cluster seeks to begin our work looking at the importance of home in order to establish the current state of research on housing in Canada and build community amongst researchers in this field. Tags: Equality and Inequality, Housing
Meryn Severson Mason, University of Alberta
Housing tenure is both one of the biggest drivers and outcomes of residential mobility. Across several Western countries, renters are significantly more likely to move than homeowners. However, it is not just the likelihood of moving that is important, but the experiences of moving. Moving for more positive or voluntary reasons is associated with more positive outcomes, while moving for more negative or involuntary reasons is associated with more negative outcomes, and which are unequally associated with housing tenure. However, despite the importance of residential mobility in shaping outcomes across the life course and the importance of housing in driving mobility patterns, we know very little about this relationship in Canada, primarily due to data gaps. This paper begins to address these data gaps by exploring residential mobility patterns across housing tenure in Canada using the new Canadian Housing Survey. This paper explores both past mobility experiences and future mobility intentions by different housing tenures and expands beyond the owning-renting binary of tenure. Overall, aligning with the international literature on mobility and housing, I find distinctly different mobility patterns for owners, private renters, and renters in social and affordable housing. Private renters have shorter residencies than other tenure groups, while owners without a mortgage and renters in social and affordable have more similar residency lengths but different reasons for moving. These findings reinforce the idea that the differential way that residential mobility is experienced and regulated for different housing tenures is a key mechanism in the different and unequal outcomes associated with housing tenure. I conclude by discussing the implications of these patterns for Canadian housing policy.
Yushu Zhu, Simon Fraser University
The neoliberalization of housing policy and housing financialization have brought unequal impacts on housing outcomes. Drawing on eight waves of census data, this study uncovers the changing mechanism of housing stratification in selected Canadian census metropolitan areas from 1981 to 2016, a period when Canada transitioned from a welfare housing regime to a neoliberal regime. This study reveals entrenched housing inequality and strengthened income effect in determining access to affordable housing in the neoliberal era. Housing financialization has significantly contributed to intensified inequality in accessing affordable housing. Access to affordable housing in Canada is also stratified along the lines of gender and immigration status. Homeownership affordability for low-to-moderate-income households has significantly deteriorated over time, representing a new form of housing vulnerability in the neoliberal era.