Exploring the Relationship between Housing and Health for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in South Australia: A Qualitative Study

Author(s): Anna ZIERSCH ; Moira WALSH ; Clemence DUE ; Emily DUIVESTEYN

http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14091036

Abstract

Housing is an important social determinant of health; however, little is known about the impact of housing experiences on health and wellbeing for people from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds. In this paper, we outline a qualitative component of a study in South Australia examining these links. Specifically, interviews were conducted with 50 refugees and asylum seekers who were purposively sampled according to gender, continent and visa status, from a broader survey. Interviews were analysed thematically. The results indicated that housing was of central importance to health and wellbeing and impacted on health through a range of pathways including affordability, the suitability of housing in relation to physical aspects such as condition and layout, and social aspects such as safety and belonging and issues around security of tenure. Asylum seekers in particular reported that living in housing in poor condition negatively affected their health. Our research reinforces the importance of housing for both the physical and mental health for asylum seekers and refugees living in resettlement countries. Improving housing quality, affordability and tenure security all have the potential to lead to more positive health outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: health; wellbeing; housing; asylum seeker; refugee; humanitarian migrant

Tags: Australia, Refugees, Asylum seekers, Living conditions, Housing, Well-being

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