PACS - Beyond Housing

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People with migration background are significantly disadvantaged in accessing the housing market: discrimination, weaker social networks locally, precarious and lower paid jobs are barriers for many of them. However, appropriate housing, like employment and language skills, is a key factor for successful inclusion. The project MeWo, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) supports persons with migration background with housing-related issues through a range of activities, consultancy and training courses, thus promoting equal opportunities and active societal participation.

Located in the Vinschgau Valley in South Tyrol, Italy, MeWo focuses on the particular housing challenges in rural areas where a lack of appropriate housing and a shortage of social housing meets the reluctance of landlords to rent to people with migration background.  Moreover, long distances to bigger towns and limited public transport options add to the difficulty to find appropriate housing.

MeWo works primarily with recent migrants and asylum seekers, offering them an individualized set of measures aimed at promoting their ability to find, and keep, appropriate accommodation, specifically, and promote their social inclusion more generally. Social workers and cultural mediators provide language courses and training in housing-related questions (how to present oneself at house viewings, how to recycle, how to operate heating, etc.) which are directly aimed at supporting migrants in the area of housing. Psychologists and lawyers offer advice and support in other aspects related to life in South Tyrol, from non-discrimination law to information about the educational system in South Tyrol. Moreover, the project also seeks to address structural issues such as lack of social housing, the precarity of many employment contracts, and the continuing presence of various types of discrimination with key stakeholders of the political, economic and social sectors in the Vinschgau Valley.

Primarily applied in scope and with a project team mainly composed of civil sector organisations and NGOs, the research component of MeWo (responsibility of Eurac Research) focuses on the monitoring and evaluation of the project activities to strengthen their innovative potential and ensure their sustainability in the mid- to long-term. Regular interviews and meetings with the project team and other relevant actors, including the people with migration background using the project services, as well as observation and participation in selected activities, will monitor project progress, emerging challenges and possible barriers to the success of the project in order to adapt, finetune or modify project structure, network and activities, if and when appropriate.

Its participation in the MeWo project strengthens the institute’s research focus on actors and agency in the context of societal challenges and conflict by establishing strong partnerships with local civil sector and civil society organisations and investigating local actors’ strategies and actions regarding migrant integration. It also contributes to the institute’s mission to create opportunities for dialogue and mutual learning between different stakeholders.

Arbeit und Integration in Südtirol: Analyse der Ausgangslage für das ESF-Projekt Mehr als Wohnen Vinschgau
Mitterhofer J (2022)
Ex-Ante Evaluation des ESF-Projekts 'Mehr als Wohnen Vinschgau':
Mitterhofer J (2022)
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CUTE Autonomy

ABI - Cultural and Territorial Autonomy

Duration: - Funding: Internal funding EURAC (Project)

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