Barriers to affordable housing for mental health service users : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Public Policy at Massey University, Albany Campus, New Zealand
Housing is both a social issue and a determinant for well being and is an integral component of social policy. The research specifically looked at the barriers for mental health service users to accessing affordable housing. Previous studies have identified affordability, lack of choice and discrimination as specific issues in relation to people with mental illness and housing. While previous studies focussed on housing affordability in relation to the individual, this research considered the barriers to affordable housing for mental health service users in relation to the capitalist structure of society.
The research utilised a Marxist theoretical perspective that views housing in terms of the social structures of society and the relationship to class. This approach was supported by the social model of disability, a social construct where those with disabilities are oppressed by the social structures of society. Another element of the research provided a history of government housing policy in New Zealand. A quantitative and qualitative approach was used to collect data which consisted of statistical information and information gained from interviews with the relevant participants.
Analysis from a Marxist perspective explained, from the findings, that there are systemic barriers in accessing affordable housing for mental health service users within a capitalist system. From the findings, the social model of disability explained that there are structural disadvantages for mental health service users that result in barriers to accessing affordable housing. An analysis of the history of government housing policy in New Zealand, which has continually promoted the commodification of housing, also explained from the findings that there are systemic barriers to accessing affordable housing for mental health service users within a capitalist system.