Barban, Nicola and Dalla Zuanna, Gianpiero (2008) The residential choices of foreign families living in Italy. [Working Paper] WORKING PAPER SERIES, 6/2008 . , PADOVA (Inedito)
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At the close of 2007, about 4 million foreign people were living in Italy (20 years ago, the same could be said of only a few thousand), the majority of whom were employed in low paying of jobs refused by Italians. As the housing situation in Italy since 1975 has been predominantly characterized by homeownership, the purchase of a house for both Italian and foreign families has become a matter of both survival and “citizenship”. In this paper, we use an exploratory approach to describe the housing arrangements of foreign families who have settled in Italy; we compare their situation to that of Italians, distinguishing by country of origin. Data come from the ITAGEN2, a statistically representative survey of students aged 11-13, living in 44 Italian provinces during the 2005-06 school year (10,537 Italians and 6,368 foreigners). Six pairs of multilevel logistic regression models (for both Italians and foreigners) are fitted to the data – clustering pupils by the 228 junior high schools – where the response-variables are: homeownership, spaciousness, and proximity to relatives. Parents of Italian children are often able to combine these three housing objectives while the few Italians who rent, on the other hand, frequently have to make due with smaller houses located far from their relatives. The foreigner, who decides to take the huge “leap” into buying a home, often has to give up living close to his/her relatives or is forced to be content with a very small house. This situation is particularly evident among the Asian community; almost 50% of those who have lived in Italy for more than 10 years own the house they live in. Foreigners who continue to rent more often turn to close relatives for support, or – as in the case of the Albanians – live in more spacious homes.
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