Does immigrant residential crowding reflect hidden homelessness?

Michael Haan

Abstract


Compared to the Canadian-born, immigrants are under-represented among Canada’s homeless population, when their decline in economic wellbeing is considered alongside their relative absence in homeless shelters. One way to explain this oddity, proposed in both academic and popular literature, is that immigrant communities employ unique avoidance strategies, such as within-group co-residence, to help keep co-ethnics off the streets and out of homeless shelters. In this paper I use the 2001 census of Canada to investigate
the extent to which heightened levels of residential crowding might reflect “hidden homelessness.” I find mixed evidence to support this link, and, if anything, find some evidence to suggest that the link between residential crowding and hidden homelessness, if one exists, is strongest for the Canadian-born.

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Canadian Studies in Population | E-ISSN 1927-629X

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