Regulating marginality: how the media characterises a maligned housing option
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Communities often stigmatise forms of housing targeting low-income tenants. This paper examines how media sources characterise one such form: rooming houses that provide multiple, low-cost, single-room accommodations in structures with shared bathrooms and/or kitchens. By analysing newspaper and online media coverage in Halifax, Canada, we illustrate the way the media describe the rooming house as a risky structure and its occupants as dangerous and marginalised persons requiring surveillance and regulation. Media coverage can play an important role in creating the social context within which local government fashions planning and housing policy interventions to control the size, location, and operation of unpopular housing options. In cities where market pressures drive gentrification, negative media coverage can contribute to the on-going loss of such affordable housing opportunities.
Jill L. Grant, Janelle Derksen & Howard Ramos (2019) Regulating marginality: how the media characterises a maligned housing option, International Journal of Housing Policy, 19:2, 192-212, DOI: 10.1080/19491247.2018.1436848