Housing and wellbeing: a rapid scoping review of reviews on the evidence on housing and its relationship to wellbeing

PEASGOOD Tessa, et al
What Works Centre for Wellbeing
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A scoping review of existing review-level evidence linking housing and wellbeing, to identify the strengths and weaknesses in existing knowledge and current gaps in the evidence base. Of the 12065 unique records initially identifies, 50 papers met the inclusion criteria. A number of themes emerged from the evidence, including: the physical infrastructure of housing; the economic housing situation of individuals; housing and neighbourhood regeneration; housing for vulnerable groups; and housing design and housing environment. The main outcome within the body of evidence on the physical infrastructure of homes was physical health while mental health of householders was a key outcome in studies evaluating fuel poverty and cold houses. The observational and theoretical reviews, which attempted to identify the impacts of various housing situations, highlight links between poor housing situations and poor physical and mental health outcomes. Of the reviews focusing on neighbourhood regeneration, the widest range of benefits were suggested by the review of community engagement but this was qualified by a statement that it was not possible to attribute any impacts to community engagement initiatives nor to differentiate between the types (e.g. housing and non-housing) of initiative. The reviews suggest that housing is particularly important for vulnerable groups, yet there is a lack of high quality review evidence of the links with wellbeing. The key messages from the reviews of the impact of the home environment were that interventions introducing large exercise equipment could increase physical activity and the introduction of TV limiting devices could reduce TV watching in children. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
literature reviews, housing, housing conditions, vulnerable adults, homeless people, wellbeing, mental health, regeneration, neighbourhoods, building design, socioeconomic groups;
Content type:
research review
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