Until the special issue is published, I’ve put together this list of articles that are already available online.  I’ll update it as more are released, so it’s a convenient page for those interested in this important topic.


Living the liminal life: informalities in a utopian housing project

Isabella Clough Marinaro

This article presents ethnographic research carried out in Rome’s Corviale public housing project: a 1-km-long building where squatting and unauthorised construction are widespread, most notably along the entire fourth floor. Beyond adding to debates on housing informalities in the global North, the analysis makes a wider theoretical contribution, focusing on the centrality of time as a defining feature of informal housing practices.

Informality, the marginalised and regulatory inadequacies: a case study of tenants’ experiences of shared room housing in Sydney, Australia

Zahra Nasreen & Kristian. J. Ruming

Despite evidence that more people are living in shared room housing, there is limited research that explores the experiences of those living in these informal arrangements and the relationship with policy/regulatory frameworks that seek to govern shared housing practices. This paper addresses this gap by investigating tenants’ motivations for living, and the challenges they face, in informal shared room housing in Sydney.


Is ‘informal’ housing an affordability solution for expensive cities? Evidence from Sydney, Australia

Nicole Gurran, Sophia Maalsen & Pranita Shrestha

Does ‘informal’ housing offer more affordable choices for low-income renters in expensive cities? This paper investigates this question with reference to Sydney, Australia, where planning reforms have sought to deregulate housing development including ‘informal’ and low cost market accommodation, in response to chronic housing affordability pressures.

Urban informality in the Global North: (il)legal status and housing strategies of Ghanaian migrants in New York City

Mohammad Usman, Sabina Maslova & Gemma Burgess

This research explores the housing journeys of Ghanaian migrants in the Bronx in New York City to understand the processes by which poor documented and undocumented migrants access housing, and explores the role of legal status in housing allocation. The paper argues that, rather than legal status, the strength of one’s social ties in the Ghanaian migrant community regulates access to housing.

Distance and proximity matters: understanding housing transformation through micro-morphology in informal settlements

Paul Jones

The aim of this paper is to provide a substantive assessment of the dynamics of change and spatial complexities of housing in informal settlements by deconstructing the micro-morphology occurring in built and unbuilt spaces. The boundaries of the built (housing) and unbuilt spaces (alleyway) are fluid due to ‘interface creep’ which allows housing to create new building lines, interface types and alleyway alignments.