Bringing health home: householder and provider perspectives on the healthy housing programme in Auckland, New Zealand

Soc Sci Med. 2008 Mar;66(5):1185-96. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.038. Epub 2008 Jan 10.


This paper describes the Healthy Housing Programme, an ongoing intervention initiated for New Zealand public housing tenants in 2000 and presents findings from an evaluation conducted over three consecutive years. The Programme aims to improve well-being by addressing the housing circumstances of families at high risk of infectious diseases, experiencing high levels of deprivation, and living in areas with high concentrations of low-income, and largely public, housing. This is achieved through improving the housing stock and better integrating housing, health and social services. The evaluation was based on Brinkerhoff's Success Case Methodology and sought to address the question: 'how have providers and householders responded to an intervention that addresses the dynamism of the physical and social aspects of housing?' Members of 30 households were interviewed, along with all available Programme providers (n=19). Thematic analysis reveals that in the households evaluated the Programme promotes participation in housing decisions and, indirectly, neighbourhood life more generally. Benefits include a larger stock of social housing units appropriate to residents' needs, increased co-ordination between sectors and organisations, strengthened community networks through referrals to helping agencies, and heightened insight by government officials into the housing conditions of tenants. We argue that a programme originally seeking only to address specific health problems and risk factors has been strengthened as it has evolved to adopt a more holistic approach to promoting household well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Services
  • Community Networks
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Health Status*
  • Housing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • New Zealand
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Development*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Public Policy
  • Social Support*
  • Social Work*