Housing, financial conditions and mental health during a pandemic

Publication type

Research Paper


Publication date

December 6, 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic has been recognised to heavily affect mental health. Because of the nature of the pandemic response, characterised by lockdowns and social distancing, housing has had a particularly important role. Within the British context, this paper looks at the relationship between housing, financial conditions and mental health in the pandemic period along three dimensions: tenure, falling behind with housing payments and access to outdoor space. Using a series of difference-in-differences set ups, I document that the pronounced cross-sectional gradient in reported mental health found in pre-pandemic times across tenure types, with outright homeowners faring best and renters worst, stays largely the same in the pandemic period too. Moreover, existing differences across ability to pay for housing and access to outdoor space are not persistently altered either. In fact, apart from sizeable but short-lived exceptions, the difference in mental health is remarkably constant across the different dimensions, following a same trend over time.






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