'It Was Bloody Amazing': How Getting Into Social Housing Transforms People's Lives

Author: Alan Morris

(MENAFN- The Conversation) For people on the long social housing waiting list , getting into secure, affordable housing is life-changing. Our study starkly illustrates what a difference it makes.

We interviewed people who were on the waiting list, and again about a year later. Some had moved into social housing and told us how it had transformed their lives.

The positive impacts included improved mental health, reintegration into society, reuniting with children, access to facilities the rest of us take for granted and greater job opportunities.

A sense of home and security

Julia*, who relies on a Disability Support Pension, had been struggling in the private rental market. When asked“What did it feel like to finally get a house?”, she said:

When first interviewed, Jade had been couch surfing. Her mental health also benefited from living in social housing.

Moving into social housing was an enormous relief for Yvonne. She had felt intensely vulnerable in private rental housing.

Jacqui, 65, had lived in her car for over three years.

Re-engaging with the world

Jack had been using most of his Disability Support Pension to pay rent.

Moving into social housing has allowed Jack to re-engage with the world.

Reuniting with children

When Fiona was homeless, her teenage son had to live with his grandmother. Fiona and her son were reunited in social housing.

Access to facilities

Jacqui emphasised how having a home allowed her to do routine tasks that are extremely demanding when homeless.

Better employment possibilities

The circumstances of many of the people we interviewed had made it difficult to find jobs. Jessica had been in shelters for a long time. After moving into social housing, she started working two jobs.

Not all plain sailing

A few interviewees found the transition from homelessness challenging. Amy's experience indicates some tenants need continued support.

Now, Amy says:

In almost all cases, moving into social housing transformed our interviewees' lives. They were able to lead a decent life.

It's why governments in a country like Australia must strive to ensure everyone has decent, secure and affordable housing. Ultimately, the benefits for society far outweigh the costs.

* All names used in this article are pseudonyms.

The Conversation


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