Facilitating and sustaining access to housing for migrants in Europe: the challenges of the European MERGING project

Objective: to facilitate and ensure the sustainability of the integration process of migrants.
Equipe projet MERGING UR1/EHESP

Organisation of the project

The MERGING project (Housing for iMmigrants and community integration in Europe and beyond: stRategGies, policies, dwellings, and governance) studies the integration of migrants through the implementation of initiatives in the housing field. It is led by IAE Lyon and brings together seven disciplines (sociology, urban planning, political science, economics, management, education sciences and law). Its 10 international partners come from Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium and France (including the University of Rennes 1 and EHESP).

MERGING brings together 10 international partners, including the Arènes laboratory under the co-supervision of the University of Rennes 1. It is funded by the European Horizon 2020 programme to the tune of 3 million euros over 3 years.


MERGING proposes a state of the art of knowledge on integration policies and existing initiatives through a multilevel approach focusing mainly on housing:

  • macro (EU migration policies),
  • meso (economic and social systems at regional level),
  • micro (individual practices).

This will allow to study the feasibility of participatory experiments that will be implemented, tested and evaluated in three European regions.
Migrants, landlords, volunteers, associations, companies and citizens will be involved in the construction or renovation of housing to ensure the success and sustainability of the project.
The innovative and mixed approach of its implementation (interviews, focus groups, public policy analysis, quantitative analysis and action research) will allow an in-depth analysis of

  • the long-term effects of participation initiatives in the field of housing
  • the factors that support or hinder the integration process of migrants and their access to civil rights in local communities
  • the diversity of actors that can support migrants in strengthening their socio-economic integration through participation initiatives (in particular, those related to housing).

Through its migrant-centred approach, MERGING will contribute extensively to the field of integration studies, empirically, methodologically and conceptually. Its evidence-based recommendations will support policy and practice innovation in the field of migrant integration in Europe.

The researchers of the Arènes laboratory of the University of Rennes 1 involved

  • Emmanuelle Maunaye, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, IUT de Rennes, University of Rennes 1 (scientific leader)
  • Alessia Lefébure, Director of Studies, EHESP
  • Patricia Loncle, Professor of Sociology, EHESP
  • Pascale Petit-Sénéchal, professor of social policy, EHESP
  • Fransez Poisson, PAST, IUT of Rennes, University of Rennes 1
  • Evamaria Hahn, intern, University of Rennes 1

Identity card

European project MERGING - HORIZON 2020 Programme
Funding: European Commission
Institution: University of Rennes 1
Name of the Scientific Director: Emmanuelle MAUNAYE
Laboratory / UMR: ARENES UMR CNRS 6051
Project duration: From 01/01/2021 to 31/12/2023 (3 years)