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Humanities research into health effects of renting

(7 July 2017)

A team of researchers has found that people who rent their homes for longer have more symptoms of depression and lower levels of wellbeing, while the opposite is true for those who live in owned homes for a longer part of their lives.

Dr Bram Vanhoutte, School of Social Sciences, and his colleagues looked at the ‘housing careers’ of 7,500 people in England over the age of 50. They found that living in rented accommodation for longer - or owning accommodation for shorter lengths of time - is linked with more symptoms of depression and lower subjective quality of later life. This indicates that duration of tenure really matters, and strengthens the idea that living in rented housing for longer exposes people to more risks in terms of health and wellbeing, as housing quality is lower.

Bram said: “Tenure is important not only in the here and now, but has long term effects on wellbeing. For older generations renting for longer is linked with lower wellbeing in later life, underlining the need to increase the availability of safe, affordable and high quality housing for the many. Housing policy now will have a tangible influence on people’s wellbeing in the future.”

  • You can read the full story on StaffNet