Wellbeing and Housing Stability

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:15
Oral Presentation
Katie MACDONALD, Capital Region Housing, Canada
There is an increasing call for more complex measures for understanding wellbeing – both objectively and subjectively. Researchers have moved into seeking other ways to capture how people are doing, for example the case of the Happiness Index in Bhutan, Gross National Happiness, the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, and so on. Each of these measures attempts to capture how well people are faring, and to present a more robust picture of the lives that people are living.

Capital Region Housing (CRH) is one of the largest housing management bodies in Canada While it is known that housing vulnerability is a key indicator of wellbeing, what is less known is how housing stability – through the provision of subsidized housing – impacts other sub-dimensions of wellbeing. In 2017 CRH engaged tenants in an anonymous wellbeing survey designed to provide a clearer understanding of wellbeing of tenants, and to understand the interconnections between areas of wellbeing and housing stability.

The findings represent a baseline understanding of where current tenants are in their self-reported wellbeing (from finances to health to community). We discuss some preliminary findings that complicate the assumption that providing stable housing means other dimensions of wellbeing can and are addressed, as well as provide some preliminary connections between stabilizing housing and other sub-dimensions such as finances, family life, and safety. Finally, we examine these findings along identity lines including race, gender and immigration to consider how specific populations of people report wellbeing differently and the implications for future research, understanding of wellbeing analysis and service provision. CRH intends to use this data to develop new outcome paradigms for social housing that are consider more than simply putting a roof over someone’s head as a meaningful measure.