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Housing Vulnerability and Well-Being in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A B.C. Survey on the Secondary Effects of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

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Drawing on a representative sample survey of B.C. adult residents, this report examines different aspects of housing situations and factors that may increase housing vulnerability or resilience during the pandemic. We take this approach because of the significant impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), including the closure of non-essential services, and physical distancing measures, on people’s homelives in B.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the likelihood of significant disparities in the secondary effects of adapting to these NPIs for people in different housing situations. It is clear from the survey results that these secondary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic include deteriorating well-being outcomes for many B.C. residents. Housing, considered comprehensively to include people’s private homes and their shared neighbourhood spaces, plays a crucial role in mitigating the disruption caused by the imposition of new rules (NPIs) designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Key takeaways from this report include:

• British Columbians report feeling the impacts of NPIs on their daily life activities, and that these have physical, mental, and social well-being implications for them.
• Housing vulnerability manifests in multiple forms, some of them new to the pandemic context. Forms of housing vulnerability experienced include housing instability, housing inadequacy, limited housing affordances to practice physical distancing, and neighbourhood inaccessibility.
• Among the different tenure types we considered, market housing tenants experience the greatest prevalence of housing vulnerability.
• Strong relationships exist between housing situations and well-being outcomes. This tells us that housing plays a central role in building household resilience to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, including its secondary effects, as we studied here.
Year-End Rep. No. 5
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Publication title
Housing vulnerability and well-being in the COVID-19 pandemic: A B.C. Survey on the secondary effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions
Community Housing Canada
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