Enhancing Access to Quality Rental Housing for People with Pets as Healthy Public Policy
Subjectpets; dogs; housing; health; landlords; tenants; millennials
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractWhen pets are considered in housing studies, attention tends to be paid towards vulnerable pet owners, namely in the context of homelessness, domestic violence situations, or disaster circumstances. Targeted interventions are important since vulnerable pet owners may risk their lives if they anticipate being separated from their pets or being turned away from shelters because of them. Intervention strategies that target the whole population are also needed, however, since pets are regularly restricted, if not banned outright, from the private rental sector and in social housing. Moreover, a “no pets” policy may force homeowners, specifically condominium or strata owners, to give up their pets. This thesis is comprised of three papers linking housing, health, and pet ownership in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As a relatively new area of study, issues surrounding housing accessibility, affordability, location, and quality among pet owners were mainly explored qualitatively. The first paper drew upon online rental listings and focused on housing recovery for tenants with pets in the aftermath of a flood. The second paper moved beyond disaster circumstances and compared perspectives towards pets in rental housing more generally. Finally, the need to address housing issues for pet owners must be considered within the context of social, economic, and demographic pressures. Millennials not only represent a majority of pet owners today, they are also disproportionately tenants and they tend to move frequently. As a result, the third paper considered what life is like for millennials with dogs once they are housed in the rental market, paying close attention to the potential influence of pet ownership on their identities, relationships, and environments. Overall, this thesis begins to answer important questions about how restrictive policies on pets in rental housing impacts human health and development. Without the proper supports in place, people with access to fewer resources may face greater challenges keeping their pets, because they cannot opt for homeownership. Improvements in access to housing for pet owners, and integrated programs and services to support pet ownership in housing and neighbourhood contexts, are essential to addressing animal relinquishment and to reducing inequities in health outcomes among pet owners.
CitationGraham, T. M. (2019). Enhancing access to quality rental housing for people with pets as healthy public policy (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
University of Calgary graduate students retain copyright ownership and moral rights for their thesis. You may use this material in any way that is permitted by the Copyright Act or through licensing that has been assigned to the document. For uses that are not allowable under copyright legislation or licensing, you are required to seek permission.