Housing satisfaction, preference and need among the chronically mentally disabled in Hamilton, Ontario
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This paper examines housing satisfaction, preference and need among a sample of the CMD in Hamilton, Ontario. The research goes beyond simply documenting the gap in housing supply by examining issues of housing quality as expressed by clients themselves. Survey data were obtained in two rounds of interviews from 66 clients attached to three aftercare programmes. Various indicators were consistent in showing a relatively high level of satisfaction with the current living situation. At the same time, clients reported major housing difficulties due to lack of appropriate and affordable accommodation, unacceptable conditions and financial constraints. Housing satisfaction was a significant correlate of scores of coping indices. There was considerable variability in satisfaction within groups of the sample defined in terms of type of housing, location and living arrangement. Data on preferences and expressed needs correspond quite closely with normative prescriptions for a continuum of housing options ranging from restricted congregate care to autonomous individual living situations. These findings underline the heterogeneity of the CMD and their needs.
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