The ripple effect: Housing insecurity and its impact on affording basic necessities
LE3 .A278 2014
Bachelor of Arts
Every family has the right to safe, affordable, and adequate housing. Nova Scotia mothers face challenges accessing affordable housing, and as mothers hold the lion’s share of the responsibilities of social reproduction that requires finding and maintaining an affordable and safe family home. Using a qualitative methodology of institutional ethnography, this thesis explores rural housing insecurities for low-income families from the perspective of mothers by conducting four semi-structured interviews in Kings County Nova Scotia. The findings show how the current housing market in Nova Scotia, specifically Kings County, NS, does not meet the needs of this population. Mothers discussed how the housing units available through subsidized housing are unsafe and inadequate. Furthermore, housing that mothers considered to be “affordable” is outdated and in need of extensive repairs. The results of this thesis provide evidence that housing insecurity is embedded within other insecurities (namely income and food insecurity) that result from wider social relations of gendered responsibilities for social reproduction and neoliberal social policies. Also it shows how rural mothers face particular challenges due to their social reproduction responsibilities and theirs (or their partner’s) lack of access to adequate employment, coupled with weak social programs such as limited social housing, social housing in difficult to access locations, and inadequate income support programs. The results of this study are an important contribution to the field of sociology due to the fact that housing insecurity continues to be a growing concern for Canadian low-income families.
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