Housing in the Canadian arctic: assessing the impacts of rehousing for Inuit health

This project, led by Mylène Riva, studies the the ‘rehousing’ of Inuit households, i.e. where households on waiting list for social housing are provided with, i.e. ‘rehoused’ to a new housing unit. The project will be set in Nunavik and Nunavut in 2014.The overall aim of this project is to assess the impacts of rehousing on mental health, stress, general and physical health and the mediating role of psychosocial factors (PSF).

  1. Examine whether rehousing is associated with changes in: a) crowding and housing quality, b) health, and c) PSF.
  2. Examine whether changes in crowding and housing quality are associated to changes in a) health and b) PSF.
  3. Examine whether the association between changes in housing conditions and changes in health is mediated by PSF.

These objectives will further be examined in relation the sex and regional differences, to account for differential health impacts of housing conditions between men and women and possible regional differences, notably due to the Pivallianiq program in Nunavik. We hypothesize that rehousing - by reducing exposure to overcrowding and improving housing quality - will be associated with better health directly, and indirectly through changes in PSF.Results of this project will provide novel evidence pertaining to health and psychosocial impacts (including unforeseen impacts) of rehousing, in relation changes in overcrowding and housing quality. Identifying PSF influenced by the intervention could suggest points of interventions and facilitate the targeting of housing resources more effectively.

This project is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health and Research.