In 2002, Mark Austin, a professor of sociology at the University of Louisville, conducted a survey with 305 residents living in Louisville, Kentucky. From this research, his team concluded that the quality of housing and neighbourhood affected the residents’ satisfaction of their physical environment, which consequently affected their feelings of safety. In other words, higher quality of housing led to higher satisfaction of home and a feeling of safety. Deteriorated conditions around the neighbourhood increased the residents’ concerns about their safety.
While this perception of safety has predominantly been studied in relation to physical threats such as safety from the weather, building structural safety and crime, what about the feeling of safety posed by health threats?
higher quality of housing led to higher satisfaction of home and a feeling of safety
Xavier Bonnefoy, who worked at the European Center for Environment and Health department of the World Health Organisation, discussed this issue in an article published in 2007. In it, he writes that the lack of hygienic conditions poses some of the most relevant health threats. While unhygienic conditions do not directly harm the residents, it increases the conditions for diseases to be transmitted. In other words, the perception of unsanitary environments that surround the house can make residents feel unsafe even when they are at home.