‘A Slow Build-Up of a History of Kindness’: Exploring the Potential of Community-Led Housing in Alleviating Loneliness

Hudson, Jim, Scanlon, Kath, Udagawa, Chihiro, Arrigoitia, Melissa Fernández, Ferreri, Mara and West, Karen (2021) ‘A Slow Build-Up of a History of Kindness’: Exploring the Potential of Community-Led Housing in Alleviating Loneliness. Sustainability, 13 (20). p. 11323. ISSN 2071-1050

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011323


This article explores the potential of community-led housing (CLH) in combatting loneliness, and represents a mixed-methods research project carried out from just before the beginning of the pandemic, through 2020. Methods comprised a nationwide quantitative online survey of members of CLH groups (N = 221 respondents from England and Wales), followed by five case studies of communities representing a range of different CLH models. This qualitative element comprised participant observation, and semi-structured interviews at each group. The article also considers data from a smaller research project carried out by the same team in July 2020, that aimed to capture the experience of the pandemic for CLH groups, and comprising an online questionnaire followed by 18 semi-structured interviews. We conclude that members of CLH projects are measurably less lonely than those with comparable levels of social connection in wider society, and that such benefits are achieved through combinations of multiple different elements that include physical design, social design and through social processes. Notably, not all aspects of communities that contribute positively are a result of explicit intentionality, albeit the concept is considered key to at least one of the models.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This publication resulted from research commissioned in 2019 by the UK Government’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on loneliness and communityled housing. The separate research on COVID-19 and collaborative housing was funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR SSCR, the National Institute for Health Research, the Department of Health and Social Care or the MHCLG.
Uncontrolled Keywords: community-led housing, collaborative housing, cohousing, co-operatives, community land trusts, self-build, quantitative survey
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2021 10:52
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2021 17:05
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/47499

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