Finding housing, making home: Romanian migrants in Post-Brexit/COVID-19 Britain

The end of Brexit transition and the COVID-19 crisis has created a dilemma for EU migrants in that many would lose the right to stay/work in the UK if they return to their home countries for longer than six months (pre-settlement status conditionality). As newcomers, Romanians and Bulgarians are particularly affected by this quandary. Moreover, Romanians are the only EU migrant group that has increased after the 2016 Brexit vote, becoming the second largest in the UK (after Polish, followed by Irish and Indians). Since mitigating the COVID-19 crisis by temporarily returning to their home country may be problematic, interesting questions arise regarding the housing practices of those who stayed in the UK.

This project aims to understand the ways in which Romanian migrants’ cultural values (concerning their mobility choices, home-attachment, social integration, preferences for homeownership) and inequalities of labour/migration-status shape their experiences of housing and home in post-Brexit/COVID-19 Britain. The concept of “stratified migration” informs this study while creative methods (e.g. “the online written interview” and follow-up interviews employing “the river of experiences”) are employed to understand the complex journeys of migration.

Project team: Adriana Mihaela Soaita (Principal Investigator), Moira Munro (Co-Investigator), Sergiu Gherghina (Co-Investigator), Gareth James (Knowledge Exchange)

Timeline: September 2021- May 2022

Theme: Choice