Housing and wellbeing: what works?

We can all agree that where you live, how you live and the community you live in are linked to your wellbeing. Yet we have little evidence of the ways it can impact different aspects of wellbeing, including physical and mental health. To provide policy-makers, researchers and funders a better picture, the What Works Centre for Wellbeing commissioned a report of existing review-level evidence on housing and wellbeing. This identifies the strengths and weaknesses in existing knowledge and current gaps in the evidence base.

This scoping review gives an indication of where initial evidence is, and where the gaps in knowledge exist. It also informed the Centre's decision to focus on housing for vulnerable groups in their upcoming systematic review later in 2017. This will be a key piece of evidence for research funders, researchers and those looking to evaluate housing projects and policies. This work was conducted rapidly, and presents the range of evidence in the topic area, rather than answering a specific question about effectiveness alone. This will be the purpose of the full systematic review conducted in the next stage.

Please note that this report only includes the findings from previously published systematic reviews of the evidence.

Briefing: rapid scoping review of housing and wellbeing

Full report: rapid scoping review of housing and wellbeing


The What Works Centre for Wellbeing is dedicated to understanding what national and local governments, along with voluntary and business partners, can do to increase wellbeing. It is an independent collaborative organisation funded, financially and in kind, initially by over 17 partners. The establishment of the Centre was overseen by a development group chaired by former Cabinet Secretary and cross-bench peer Lord Gus O’Donnell following the Commission on Wellbeing & Policy

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