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By : Stéphane R Robin

In France, social housing provides a significant proportion of housing services. The present contribution seeks to identify housing careers for social tenants, using event history analysis on a sample of over 40,000 households located in the Lille metropolitan area (in northern France). The data was provided by a local social housing company, and contains extensive geographical information. The analysis was conducted for the metropolitan area and for its three main cities (Lille, Roubaix and Tourcoing). This made it possible to measure the effect of geographical location at both the agglomeration and neighbourhood levels. Our main results are threefold. First, access to better housing depends more on individual characteristics than on residential location; thus, it appears that comparatively favoured households may use social housing to increase their "upward mobility." Secondly, forced mobility (eviction) depends on household histories and characteristics, but is spatially heavily concentrated. Finally, urban renewal, by increasing the quality of the built environment, tends - at least in some neighbourhoods - to make social housing more desirable (by giving households a stronger incentive to stay). It may thus improve the quality of life of people who are less likely to become homeowners or to access larger/more comfortable houses.
Keywords : Social Housing; Housing Careers; Agglomerations, Neighbourhoods, Event History Analysis.

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