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Public housing in an urban setting: An inclusive wellbeing framework

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Policy Quarterly, 19(3), 36-46

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This article presents an inclusive wellbeing framework developed as part of a five-year research program, "Public Housing: Maximising Wellbeing and Urban Regeneration," funded by the MBIE Endeavour fund.

The program aims to enhance the wellbeing of public housing tenants and their communities through evidence-based, healthier, and more environmentally sustainable development practices. The framework integrates various international approaches to wellbeing, including capabilities and subjective wellbeing approaches, alongside te ao Māori and Pacific wellbeing frameworks. It emphasises individual and whānau (family) wellbeing, allowing tenants to make judgements on factors affecting their wellbeing and recognising interpersonal relationships’ impact. The article discusses the research program’s goals, including identifying positive wellbeing outcomes, analysing sustainable urban regeneration, understanding socially inclusive communities, and supporting hapū and iwi housing aspirations. Surveys of public housing tenants are being conducted to collect data on the impact of public housing on tenant wellbeing, with a focus on housing quality, health, sustainability, and governance among other factors. This article proposes a multidimensional and inclusive wellbeing framework and addresses the complex interplay between various factors that influence the lives of public housing tenants. The framework’s novelty lies in its comprehensive approach, combining subjective and objective measures of wellbeing and incorporating indigenous perspectives on health and happiness. This research underscores the importance of considering a broad spectrum of influences on wellbeing, from housing quality and accessibility to cultural and community connections. The project’s collaborative nature, involving partnerships with public and community housing organisations, ensures that findings will be grounded in practical experiences and challenges faced by tenants.

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