Housing quality and resilience in New Zealand

A.L. Pearson, L.T. Barnard, J. Pearce, S. Kingham, P. Howden-Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is extensive research on the negative health impacts of poor housing quality. However, little is known about the potential health benefits of high-quality housing in poor neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods with unexpectedly good health outcomes despite high levels of deprivation have been deemed resilient places and housing quality in these areas may be a contributor to this resilience. This study aimed to evaluate whether an indicator of neighbourhood housing quality was associated with a previously quantified resilience index (RINZ) in New Zealand. It was found that areas with high housing quality tended to have higher median income, greater proportions of partnered people and shorter-term residents, and very low proportions of Māori. A positive association was found between housing quality and resilience, after adjustment for deprivation. There was no indication of differences by heterogeneity in housing quality within the aggregate unit of analysis. These findings pose the hypothesis that improving housing quality in similarly deprived areas that have poor health outcomes could potentially boost health. To extend this understanding, further development of a more sophisticated housing quality indicator is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-190
Number of pages9
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2014


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