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Completed project

The Social Impact of Housing

Literature review of national and international research.

Project period July 2018 - December 2018
Project employer Kommunal- og moderniseringsdepartementet
Project nr. 10336
Project leader Janis Umblijs
bilde av jente som tegner et hus med kritt


Project Background

While most people in Norway live in safe and high quality housing, this is not the case for everyone.

Figures from Statistics Norway show that between 160,000 and 180,000 people are disadvantaged in the housing market and that 6,200 people are homeless. These are worrying statistics given that good quality and safe living conditions can have an impact on other important outcomes such as education, health and employment.

Research has shown that housing conditions can have an effect on education and labor market outcomes, especially for children and adolescents. However, the causal relationship can also be the reverse. For example, a loss of income can lead to individuals being trapped in sub-optimal living conditions.

Project Approach

While the links between education, health and the labor market are relatively well documented, less is known about the role of housing on welfare outcomes, especially in the Norwegian context. This project summarized and evaluated the existing literature on how housing affects a person's welfare, social and health-related outcomes. In this project, we were particularly interested in disadvantaged groups, such as young people facing challenges transitioning into the labour market, newly arrived refugees and people with mental and/or physical disabilities.

The project went through relevant national and international literature, answering the following overarching questions:

  • In what ways can housing play a positive role in helping disadvantaged individuals to overcome their problems?
  • Can a good living situation prevent social and health problems?
  • What conditions are particularly important for housing to provide favorable welfare outcomes?
  • What is the relationship between housing quality and the quality of the neighborhood?


Umblijs, Janis; von Simson, Kristine & Mohn, Ferdinand A (2019). Boligens betydning for annen velferd : en gjennomgang av nasjonal og internasjonal forskning. Rapport – Institutt for samfunnsforskning. 2019:01. Full Text in Research Archive.


Janis Umblijs PhD Senior Research Fellow +47 925 27 810 Send e-mail
Ferdinand Andreas Mohn
Tags: Working Life, Welfare, Migration
Published June 29, 2018 11:37 AM - Last modified Jan. 24, 2019 3:44 PM