Exploring the relationship between housing and wellbeing

The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 introduced a new requirement for all private landlords in Wales to register themselves and their properties. The intention was to improve landlordism in Wales and to improve tenant experiences. However, recent debates within academia have called into question the relevance of ‘tenure’, e.g. owning or renting, as a way of conceptualising housing, given that people living in tenures has diversified over time.

Given concerns about the security of Private Renter Sector (PRS) tenancies in Wales, and evidence that some households are constrained to the sector, the hypothesis is that people living in the PRS may face ‘worse’ mental and subjective wellbeing than those in other tenures. Findings from this project would provide a key evidence base to inform Welsh Government thinking about interventions relating to tenure in Wales, particularly whether specific tenures should continue to be sites of policy intervention.

Key questions

  • Is there a difference in the profile of mental and subjective wellbeing across housing tenures?
  • And if so, do these differences persist, once taking into account people’s characteristics?

The data

Initially, this project will draw on National Survey for Wales data to explore the clustering of subjective mental and personal wellbeing and compare these clusters between housing tenures.  Future iterations of this project will explore linkage of survey data with health data to determine if patterns diagnosis of mental health issues exists/persist across housing tenures once individual characteristics are accounted for.

Project leads

Dr Ian Thomas & Dr Peter Mackie, Cardiff University (ADR Wales).

This project is funded by ADR Wales via its core grant from the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) as an ADR UK partner.

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