Ecologies of housing and underlying assumptions of vulnerability

Franz, Jill, Bitner, Grace, Petriwskyj, Andrea, Ward, Margaret, Adkins, Barbara, & Rolfe, Annie (2015) Ecologies of housing and underlying assumptions of vulnerability. Housing, Care and Support, 18(2), pp. 41-50.

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This paper is informed by a study that aimed to understand the difficulties in implementing models of housing, and to help address the lack of accessible and affordable private housing for people with disability in Australia. In responding to this aim, the study formulated an ecological map of housing models, which are examined in this paper in terms of their underlying assumptions of vulnerability.


The study involved explanation building, using a multiple case study approach, informed theoretically by an ecological framework. It included organisations, families and individuals with disability.


For the purpose of this paper, the study revealed a direct relationship between the nature of the housing models proposed, and assumptions of vulnerability. In the context of the study findings, the paper suggests that attempts to address individual housing needs are more likely to achieve a positive outcome when they are person driven, from a premise of ability rather than disability. Overall, it invites a ‘universalistic’ way of conceptualising housing issues for people with disability that has international relevance.

Practical implications

This paper highlights how assumptions of vulnerability shape environmental responses, such as housing, for people with disability.


This paper is based on a study that reconciled a person-centred philosophy with an ecological appreciation of the external and internal factors impacting housing choice for people with disability.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 87421
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Housing, Safeguarding, Ecological framework, Vulnerability, Disability, Private housing
DOI: 10.1108/HCS-06-2015-0009
ISSN: 2042-8375
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Interior Design (120106)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
  • DPRWG/Unknown
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright Statement: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here ( Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Deposited On: 14 Sep 2015 01:37
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 14:35

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