Housing attainment of immigrants from the former soviet union in Israel: A cost/benefit approach

Gustavo S. Mesch, Rita Mano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examines the extent that national housing policy and demographic and human capital factors affect the odds of homeownership and quality of housing. A cost/benefit theoretical conceptualization with a sample of 19 000 Russian immigrants who arrived in Israel in 1989-90 was used to examine how the benefits of homeownership (location, size and pricing) 'stood against' a set of costs (commuting time required, housing age and size). A set of demographic and human capital factors were employed to control for socio-economic effects such as age, gender, family size, labour force participation and occupational status. The benefits of homeownership for immigrants in Israel also proved to involve some costs: migrating to smaller localities and commuting to metropolitan areas where occupational opportunities are higher. The findings suggest that while homeownership is widespread, it imposes a burden on new immigrants as well. This implies that social policy with regard to housing, especially low-priced housing, should consider the possibility of expanding public and market services in an appropriate way that will increase social inclusion and lessen the likelihood of structural segregation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-440
Number of pages18
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Housing attainment
  • Housing market
  • Isreal
  • Migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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