Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Health Place. 2018 May;51:174-181. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2018.04.001. Epub 2018 Apr 11.

Surviving the housing crisis: Social violence and the production of evictions among women who use drugs in Vancouver, Canada.

Author information

1
Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6; British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z 1Y6.
2
British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z 1Y6; Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z 1Y6.
3
British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z 1Y6.
4
British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z 1Y6; School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, 2329 West Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4.
5
Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
6
British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z 1Y6; Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z 1Y6. Electronic address: rmcneil@cfenet.ubc.ca.

Abstract

Single room accommodation (SRA) housing is among the only forms of accessible housing to marginalized women who use illicit drugs in many urban settings. However, SRA housing environments may create specific health and drug risks for women. Little research has examined the gendered mechanisms contributing to housing vulnerability for women who use drugs and the subsequent ways they aim to mitigate harm. This study examines the gendered vulnerabilities to, and harms stemming from, evictions from SRAs in Vancouver, Canada. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 56 people who use drugs who were recently evicted (past 60 days) from SRAs in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighbourhood, 19 of whom identified as women which informed this analysis. Participants were recruited by Peer Researcher Assistants for baseline and follow-up interviews three to six months later. Interview transcripts were analyzed thematically and interpreted by drawing on concepts of social violence. Findings underscore how gendered violence and forms of social control operationalized within SRAs normalized violence against women and restricted their agency. Surveillance mechanisms increased women's experiences of violence as they sought to evade such interventions. Post-eviction, women faced pronounced vulnerability to harm which reinforced their social and spatial marginality within a drug scene. Collectively, women's experiences within SRAs highlight how the hybrid forms of disciplinary mechanisms used within these housing environments significantly impacted women's experiences of harm. Greater attention to the impacts of housing and building policies on women who use drugs is needed to better address the morbidity and mortality of this population.

KEYWORDS:

Canada; Eviction; Housing; Violence; Women

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center