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Insiders and Outsiders in French Social Housing Allocation: How Conflicting Rights Exclude Disadvantaged People

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  • Jane Ball
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    The 'right to housing' in France implies that disadvantaged people suffering poverty or housing difficulty enjoy priority access to social housing. However, the disadvantaged in fact have serious difficulty obtaining access to social housing in France. In this article, insider-outsider theory (Lindbeck & Snower, 2002) is employed to explain the exclusionary process of French social housing allocation. Insider groups of local people, existing tenants and employees are represented in this complex allocation process and obtain privileged access. Disadvantaged outsiders suffer stigmatisation and exclusion. This article demonstrates how conflicting constitutional rights and a complex written bureaucratic procedure instrumentalise this exclusion of the disadvantaged. A new 'opposable' right to housing could help some disadvantaged groups, though it has significant limitations. Creating a level playing field for insiders and outsiders in a simplified procedure could help to improve housing access for disadvantaged people in France.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Journal of Housing Policy.

    Volume (Year): 9 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 313-335

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:9:y:2009:i:3:p:313-335
    DOI: 10.1080/14616710903138783
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