'That house was a home': Qualitative evidence from New Zealand on the connections between rental housing eviction and poor health outcomes

Health Promot J Austr. 2022 Jul;33(3):861-868. doi: 10.1002/hpja.526. Epub 2021 Aug 9.


Issue addressed: Eviction, or a forced move from rental housing, is a common experience for New Zealand renters, yet we know very little about its effects. This research investigated how eviction affects people's lives and health.

Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 27 people who had experienced eviction. We coded the transcripts and grouped them into themes using template analysis.

Results: Participant experienced grief at the loss of the home. Moving out and searching for a new home was highly stressful on participants and on their relationships. After being evicted, people became homeless, often staying with family and friends and lived in poor quality or unaffordable housing. They reported health issues as a result of these circumstances.

Conclusions: Eviction harms health through causing stress, grief and a move to a risky living situation. Increasing the supply of housing and funding wide-ranging support services can help minimise the harm caused by eviction. SO WHAT?: Reducing the incidence and impact of eviction should be a priority for health promotion.

Keywords: eviction; grief; housing and health; private rental housing; stress.

MeSH terms

  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons*
  • New Zealand
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care