FOREIGN IMMIGRATION AND HOUSING ISSUES IN SMALL ALPINE VILLAGES: Housing as a Pull Factor for New Highlanders
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There is some evidence in the recent literature on repopulation in the Italian Alps that shows the role of housing availability as a pull factor, capable of attracting inhabitants from outside to mountain areas, even to inner and remote ones, due to the offer of empty buildings (Corrado, Dematteis, and Di Gioia 2014; Membretti and Viazzo 2017). Among new highlanders, foreign immigrants are of growing importance, with reference firstly to the consolidated phenomenon of “economic migrants”, and more recently to the new population of asylum seekers, relocated by the national government from urban to rural areas (the so-called “forced highlanders”). Although the relationship between foreign immigration and housing has been widely investigated in Italy from a sociological perspective in recent years (Baldini and Federici 2011; Alietti and Augustoni 2013; Saraceno, Sartor, and Sciortino 2013; Membretti and Quassoli 2015), both researchers and public policies in this field have almost exclusively focused on urban and metropolitan areas, usually leaving out rural and especially mountain territories. In this chapter, we will concentrate precisely on this issue.
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