Journal of Public Health

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 535–544 | Cite as

Health and living conditions in social housing: comparison between rehabilitated and non-rehabilitated neighbourhoods

  • Sara SoaresEmail author
  • Sandra Brochado
  • Nuno Ramos
  • Raquel Duarte
  • Pedro Norton
  • João Delgado
  • Sílvia Fraga
Original Article



Our aim is to compare how residents from two social housing neighbourhoods of Porto City, one rehabilitated and one non-rehabilitated, perceived their living conditions, health and quality of life.

Subjects and methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted, selecting residents from two social housing neighbourhoods of Porto City, one rehabilitated and another one non-rehabilitated. The information was collected through quantitative (a structured questionnaire; n = 82) and qualitative face-to-face interviews administered by trained interviewers (n = 16).


No significant differences were found between populations from both neighbourhoods regarding social, behavioural and health characteristics. The major differences among neighbourhoods were found on variables such as satisfaction with house, the need of rehabilitation work, and the absence of mould and dampness in the house (p < 0.001) as well as pollution (p < 0.05). Qualitative data showed that residents from the rehabilitated houses were pleased not to have been moved to another location and were very satisfied with the rehabilitation work, which in their perception contributed to the residents’ wellbeing. Nominal and ordinal variables were described using proportions and compared using the chi-square test. Quantitative continuous variables were presented as a median (percentile 25 to percentile 75) and they were compared via the Mann-Whitney test.


Public economic and financing resources should be redirected to social housing rehabilitation that, although in the short term does not have a direct impact on health savings for the occupants, is an important dimension of the residents’ sense of wellbeing and satisfaction.


Social housing rehabilitation Neighbourhoods rehabilitation Quality of life Living conditions 



Authors are grateful to DomusSocial, E.M. for availability and collaboration.


This work is supported by FEDER funding from the Operational Programme Factors of Competitiveness - COMPETE and by national funding from the FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology (Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science) within the project “Influence of Indoor Hygrothermal Conditions on Human Quality of Life in Social Housing” (ref. EXPL/ECM-COM/1999/2013-FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-041748). SF and SS acknowledge the FCT (SFRH/BPD/97015/2013 to SF and SFRH/BD/108742/2015 to SS). The ISPUP-EPIUnit, Universidade do Porto, Portugal (UID/DTP/04750/2013) is funded by the FCT.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10389_2016_751_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 13 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Soares
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sandra Brochado
    • 1
  • Nuno Ramos
    • 2
  • Raquel Duarte
    • 1
  • Pedro Norton
    • 1
  • João Delgado
    • 2
  • Sílvia Fraga
    • 1
  1. 1.EPIUnit - Institute of Public Health, University of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.CONSTRUCT-LFC, Faculty of Engineering (FEUP)University of PortoPortoPortugal

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