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Mental health and houses in multiple occupation

Barratt, C and Green, G and Speed, E (2015) 'Mental health and houses in multiple occupation.' Journal of Public Mental Health, 14 (2). 107 - 117. ISSN 1746-5729

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Abstract

© Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – Previous research has established that there is a relationship between housing and mental health, however, understanding about how and why housing affects mental health is still limited. The purpose of this paper is to address this deficit by focusing on the experiences of residents of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 20 HMO residents who were asked about their housing career and experience of living in a HMO. Participants were recruited with assistance from community organisations and landlords. Findings – The physical properties and social environment of the property, as well as personal circumstances experienced prior to the move into the property, all influenced how mental health was affected. The authors identify and discuss in detail three key meditating factors: safety, control and identity which may affect how living in the property impacts the mental health of tenants. Practical implications – Good property management can lessen the potential harmful effects of living in a HMO. However, poorly run properties which house numerous vulnerable people may increase the risk of poor mental health due to attendant high levels of stress and possible risk of abuse. Originality/value – Based on the reports of HMO residents, the authors outline the key mediating processes through which living in HMOs may affect mental wellbeing, as well as illuminating the potential risks and benefits of HMOs, an overlooked tenure in housing research.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2015 10:41
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 17:40
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/12830

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