The Kikinaw housing project, Winnipeg Manitoba: green low-income housing, tenant-centred management, and resident well-being
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An individual’s housing situation can have a significant impact on their well-being and overall health. Low-income individuals and those on social assistance often have little choice in housing. Increased housing satisfaction can have an immediate impact on quality of life and can also have influence in the longer-term. This case study examines the satisfaction and well-being of tenants in a Winnipeg, Manitoba low-income housing project. The buildings that are part of the Kikinaw Housing Project were renovated using green building strategies, a tenant-centred management model is being implemented, and there are several social supports available exclusively to tenants. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with tenants, support staff and management. The practicum concludes that tenants are more satisfied with their living conditions at Kikinaw compared to their previous residence. Residents generally feel better about their health, have more social ties, and take pride in their homes. This improvement in tenant’s lives in turn strengthens the community. The practicum concludes with eight recommendations for housing providers, policy makers, and government bodies. These are divided into three categories: delivery of services, funding provisions and policy, and green and community enhancements. Recommendations include: i) more tenant involvement, ii) improving people’s ability to deal with stress, iii) flexible funding and support, iv) consistent funding and cooperation, v) enhancing social interaction and community, vi) green housing for all incomes levels, vii) resident education about the project, viii) healthy housing policy and healthy public policy.