Économie et Statistique n° 464-465-466 - Inequalities and Discriminations: measurement issues Indirect approaches: discrimination as an unexplained component of inequalities - Experimental approach: the contribution of testing - Subjective approaches: measuring felt discriminations
Inequalities in access to social housing: is this discrimination ?
This article looks at the difference in social housing allocation waiting times between households of European origin and households of non-European origin, based on the Housing survey (INSEE, 2006). The idea here is to reveal whether there is any discrimination against non-European households: we show that, all other things being equal, these households wait longer for access to social housing. Specifically adapted breakdown methods indicate that part of this difference (about 40%) cannot be explained by the variables observed (especially type of housing requested, size of household or socio-professional category of the household). There are several elements, not available in the database used here, which may account for this difference: - It is possible that European and non-European households do not request the same type of housing, and perhaps that non-Europeans fall into segments where the supply of housing is smaller and hence waiting times are longer. - European households may have their own social network and/or better information which can help them obtain social housing more quickly, which would be a form of indirect discrimination. - When allocating housing, social landlords may be under constraints regarding social diversity and equity which perhaps obliges them to extend waiting times for social housing for non-European households. However, our results tend to show that these same landlords, whether deliberately or not, do perhaps carry out statistical discrimination by considering that non-European households present greater risk than European households. These risks could be linked with financial problems (non-payment of rent), cultural differences (different lifestyles from the Europeans) or insecurity issues (damage, violence, etc.). - With more detailed information about social diversity criteria and the characteristics of available housing, this analysis could be further refined.