Intersecting Barriers: The Production of Housing Vulnerability for LGBTQ Refugees in Alberta, Canada

Canada’s National Housing Strategy acknowledges that identity factors are closely connected to housing vulnerability. Specifically, it identifies 12 groups at heightened risk of negative housing outcomes in Canada. In this research, we focus on the intersection of two of these groups: LGBTQ people and refugees. Existing studies establish that members of both groups are vulnerable to discrimination, homelessness, and housing unaffordability. However, they have largely been examined separately, and with limited insights into the factors that produce vulnerability. To develop a more nuanced and systemic account of LGBTQ refugees’ housing vulnerability, we conducted a study in Alberta, Canada. Utilizing Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality, and drawing on policy documents and key-informant interviews, we identified three types of barriers to housing. We conclude that an intersectional approach provides a foundation for systemic explanations of housing vulnerability that are too often absent in policy.

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Housing, Theory and Society