The loss of psychosocial well-being is an overlooked but monumental consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. These effects result not only from the pandemic itself but, in a secondary way, from the Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) made to curb the spread of disease. The unprecedented physical distancing and stay-at-home requirements and recommendations provide a unique window for housing researchers to better understand the mechanisms by which housing affects psychosocial well-being. This study draws on a survey conducted with over 2000 residents of the neighbouring Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta in 2021. We propose a new multi-dimensional model to examine the relationships between Material, Economic, Affordances, Neighbourhood, and Stability (MEANS) aspects of housing and psychosocial well-being. Our analysis reveals the direct and indirect pathways by which deficiencies in each of these areas had negative effects on psychosocial well-being. Residential stability, housing affordances, and neighbourhood accessibility exert stronger direct impacts on psychosocial well-being than material and economic housing indicators (e.g. size of living space and tenure). Notably, we find no significant well-being differences between different homeowners and renters when we account for other housing MEANS. These findings have important implications for housing policy across pandemic and post-pandemic contexts, suggesting a need for research and policy focus on understanding housing and well-being in terms of non-material aspects, such as residential stability and affordances that housing provides.

Fuente: Habitat International
Available online 23 March 2023