Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Creating Community and Belonging in a Designated Housing Estate for Disabled People

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Abstract:  In recent years there has been an ideological push within social care away from segregated housing provision towards supported housing integrated within the wider community (McConkey, Keogh, Bunting, Iriarte, & Watson, 2016; Merrells, Buchanan, & Waters, 2019; Overmars-Marx, Thomése, Verdonschot, & Meininger, 2014). Despite this, many housing solutions for older and disabled people continue to be built on a designated basis, with physical and emotional wellbeing outcomes being both contested and mixed. After reviewing key policy relating to social care housing alongside some of the theoretical and ideological positions, this article explores the social and emotional outcomes of a diverse group of disabled people living with mental health difficulties, physical and intellectual impairments, illnesses and age-related conditions, who moved into a small, purpose-built estate of smart homes. Drawing primarily on qualitative data collected from tenants prior to moving and again seven months following relocation, the impact of moving into the estate on tenants’ sense of wellbeing and feelings of inclusion will be analysed and discussed in relation to efforts to build a new community.

Keywords:  community building; disabled people; housing; loneliness; smart homes; wellbeing



© Liz Ellis, Sarah-Anne Muñoz, Katia Narzisi, Sara Bradley, Jenny Hall. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.