Social Capital and Housing Tenure in an Adelaide Neighbourhood
Ziersch, Anna Marie
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In this paper we compare and contrast elements of social capital across different housing tenures in an Adelaide neighbourhood. Using the results of 530 self-completion questionnaires and in-depth qualitative interviews with 16 people we assess perceptions of conflict across housing tenures and between socioeconomic groups, feelings of acceptance and belonging in the local neighbourhood, and levels of involvement in local formal and informal networks. While only a small number of questionnaire respondents reported negative views of socioeconomic diversity in the area a common theme emerging in the qualitative data indicated that housing tenure was relevant to some of these negative perceptions. Respondents from across different tenure types also reported differences in feelings of acceptance in the neighbourhood, and involvement in formal and informal networks. The study findings suggest that housing tenure is relevant to the development of neighbourhood-based social capital, and that this factor needs to be considered by social planners, housing policy makers and others involved in implementing social mix policies. In addition, the findings indicate the need to consider the community housing and public housing tenures in their own right, given the different models of housing provision, rather than collectively under the common banner of social housing as most research studies do. It is recommended that the full diversity of housing tenure is considered in any future analysis.