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BMC Public Health. 2009 Nov 17;9:415. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-415.

The SHARP study: a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the short-term outcomes of housing and neighbourhood renewal.

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Public & Environmental Health Research Unit, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London UK.



The SHARP study was set up to evaluate the short (1 year) and longer-term (2 year) effects on health and wellbeing of providing new social housing to tenants. This paper presents the study background, the design and methods, and the findings at one year.


Data were collected from social tenants who were rehoused into a new, general-purpose socially-rented home developed and let by a Scottish Registered Social Landlord (the "Intervention" group). These data were collected at three points in time: before moving (Wave 1), one year after moving (Wave 2) and two years after moving (Wave 3). Data were collected from a Comparison group using the same methods at Baseline (Wave 1) and after two years of follow-up (Wave 3). Qualitative data were also collected by means of individual interviews. This paper presents the quantitative and qualitative findings at 1 year (after Wave 2).


339 Intervention group interviews and 392 Comparison group interviews were completed. One year after moving to a new home there was a significant reduction in the proportion of Intervention group respondents reporting problems with the home, such as damp and noise. There was also a significant increase in neighbourhood satisfaction compared with Baseline (chi(2) = 35.51, p < 0.0001). Many aspects of the neighbourhood improved significantly, including antisocial behaviour. In terms of environmental aspects and services the greatest improvements were in the general appearance of the area, the reputation of the area, litter and rubbish, and speeding traffic. However, lack of facilities for children/young people and lack of safe children's play areas remained a concern for tenants.


This study found that self-reported health changed little in the first year after moving. Nonetheless, the quantitative and qualitative data point to improvements in the quality of housing and of the local environment, as well as in tenant satisfaction and other related outcomes. Further analyses will explore whether these effects are sustained, and whether differences in health outcomes emerge at 2 years compared with the Comparison group.

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