This report is the second output of a project that aims to increase our understanding of how living in the private rented sector (PRS) affects wellbeing. It is based on the voices and experiences of 53 tenants from across the UK who participated in interviews in March 2021. The findings demonstrate that satisfaction surveys alone do not provide an adequate measure of wellbeing nor an indication of how well the sector is operating. The “capability approach” is an alternative way of thinking about and measuring wellbeing. It asks: what are people able to do and be and what freedoms and opportunities do they have? Professor Martha Nussbaum outlines 10 ‘‘essential’’ capabilities that are needed in order to live well. These include bodily health, the emotional landscape, relationships, and feelings of autonomy and control. This study explores the conditions and circumstances through which PRS housing either enhances or detrimentally affects these essential capabilities and how it has provided a source of protection and refuge during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Harris, J. & McKee, K. 2021, Health and wellbeing in the UK private rented sector: enhancing capabilities - Part 2: Findings from tenant interviews, UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/33125

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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