IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 12563: Exploring the Interactions between Housing and Neighbourhood Environments for Enhanced Child Wellbeing: The Lived Experience of Parents Living in Areas of High Child Poverty in England, UK (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Children’s health can be affected by the interrelated characteristics of the physical and social environment where they live, including housing quality, neighbourhood characteristics and the local community. Following a systems-based approach, this exploratory project sought to understand how the needs and aspirations associated with the home environment can work in synergy with, or be exacerbated by, other aspects of the local area. The study recruited parents of children aged 2–12 years old from two local authorities in England with high levels of child poverty: Tower Hamlets in East London, and Bradford District in West Yorkshire. Thematic analysis of participant interviews highlighted ten themes and opportunities for improvements. The evidence presented in this research emphasises how environmental quality issues within and outside the home, compounded further by delays in repairs and reduction in service standards, as well as affordability issues, are likely to deeply affect the wellbeing of an entire generation of disadvantaged children whose parents can feel disempowered, neglected and often isolated when attempting to tackle various dimensions of inequalities. Interventions which can improve the quality of housing, and access to space and services, are urgently needed, including initiatives to support and empower families and local communities, especially those prioritising opportunities for action.