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Housing and life experiences

Researchers: Professor Becky Tunstall, Darren Baxter, Karen Croucher, Deborah Quilgars (CHP) Alison Dyke (Stockholm Environment Institute) Professor Jenny Roe (Director, Centre for Design and Health, University of Virginia)
Funder: Joseph Rowntree Foundation 
Duration: January 2015 to April 2017    


The Housing and Life Experiences Project is part of a new research and development programme on housing and poverty funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The project is exploring how housing circumstances and life events impact on the risk and experience of poverty.


This project has three main aims:

  • better understand the effect of housing circumstance and events on the risk and experience of poverty across the life course
  • assess the capacity and effectiveness of existing policy and practice to reduce, mitigate and prevent poverty in a changing housing context
  • develop new, evidence based housing policy solutions that will reduce, mitigate and prevent poverty


The project is using a qualitative longitudinal study to explore the issues. We will be talking to more than 70 people of all ages in different housing circumstances in different parts of the UK about how their homes impact on other aspects of their lives, for example:

  • their health and their families’ health
  • the amount of money they have to spend on day to day living
  • their work prospects.

In addition there will be a policy development process involving key policy stakeholders from across the UK. This aims to identify housing (or directly housing-related) policy and practice actions that can improve individual and household outcomes. Actions that by preventing, mitigating and reducing poverty at different stages in the life course will lead to better outcomes for the people concerned. 


Croucher, K., Quilgars, D., Baxter, D. and Dyke, A. (2017) Housing and Life Experiences: First interviews with a qualitative longitudinal panel of low income households, Second interim report to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Housing and Life Experiences - 2nd interim report (PDF , 1,348kb)

Please contact for more information

Associated Research   

Real London Lives - longitudinal study 

Tracking the stories of Londoners living in affordable homes


The links between housing and poverty 

Summary of a report for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation