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33% of housing estate residents feel trapped: study

22 Apr 2019, 20:36 ( 1 Month ago)

DF Report
Apartments under construction.City of Helsinki photo by Vladimir Pohtokari.

Involuntary staying, a type of housing trap, is a common experience among people living on housing estates, according to a University of Helsinki study.

Around one in three residents feel that they are trapped in their current residential arrangements.

More than half of them would like to move away from their current neighbourhoods.

According to the residents’ own estimation, the most common cause for involuntary staying is economic but the overall housing market situation also has an effect. This is according to a recent study by the University of Helsinki, which looked at people's experience of being involuntarily trapped in their current residential setting on Finland's housing estates.

Involuntary staying refers to a situation where a household would like to move away from their current residence but, for one reason or another, are unable to do so. There is very little previous international research done on involuntary staying. With regard to the prevalence of involuntary staying, the results of the current study are fairly in line with a prior British study focusing on the entire population.

The study found involuntary staying to be a potential health risk. The experience of involuntary staying is typically linked with perceived poor health. According to the researchers, this may be caused by the prolonged stress of involuntary staying, where the current residential arrangements do not correspond to the needs of the household.

"On the other hand, it may also be a question of selection, since poor health is often linked with insufficient economic resources that can lead to involuntary staying," said Teemu Kemppainen, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki.

The study also found that cramped residential arrangements, living in a multi-storey building and in publicly subsidised rental accommodation all contributed to the experience of poor health.