Moving into a Disadvantaged Tenure? Pathways into Social Housing

  • Ilan Wiesel University of New South Wales
  • Hazel Easthope University of New South Wales
Keywords: Social Housing, Housing Affordability, Housing Pathways, Neighborhood Effects, Stigma


Social housing provides an important alternative to private rental and owner­occupation for low­income households. At the same time, concerns have been raised in the literature about some of the more problematic aspects of living in social housing, such as exposure to various forms of place­based (or tenure­based) disadvantage, including stigma. In this paper we present findings from a study of the housing pathways of sixty individuals in Australia who recently moved into a social housing tenancy. We examine how stigma has influenced their housing pathways, particularly their decision to apply for social housing. Yet, through analysis of their experiences of living in social housing after moving in, we argue that utilizing the concept of place­based disadvantage in this context is problematic when considering the overall positive outcomes for these households.


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