Forced relocation

Reason for dissatisfaction with the dwelling and the neighbourhood? (draft version)

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the relationship between voluntary and involuntary reasons for relocation, and the satisfaction with the dwelling and the neighbourhood. We distinguish between voluntary reasons to move and forced reasons to move (demolition or renovation versus divorce). While these separate reasons have been extensively studied in the field of urban regeneration and gentrification, life-course studies, or social psychology, forced reasons are hardly studied in direct comparison. We hypothesize that a forced reason to move, net of other factors, initially has a negative effect on the satisfaction with the new dwelling and the new neighbourhood. However, there may be a positive effect of time: the longer ago the forced move, the more positive the evaluation of the dwelling and the neighbourhood. Furthermore, we investigate the extent to which different forced moving reasons (demolition or renovation, divorce) have different effects on satisfaction with the dwelling and the neighbourhood. The analyses are based on the Dutch Housing Survey (2006). The results show that a forced move due to a divorce initially results in lower satisfaction with the dwelling, but this negative effect disappears after a year. A forced move due to renovation or demolition leads is not of influence on the level of satisfaction with the dwelling. Forced and voluntary movers are equally satisfied with the neighbourhood, depending on the evaluation of the characteristics of that neighbourhood.