Prior research finds a positive association between social capital and community well-being, ranging from decreased crime to greater local economic development and resiliency. Using a nationally representative sample from Canada, this study explores the specific impact of housing tenure (home ownership vs. renting) on three forms of neighbourhood social capital: bonding (trust, exchanges among neighbours and sense of belonging to one’s community), bridging (participation in local organizations) and linking social capital (voting in municipal elections). Findings suggest a positive association between home ownership and forms of bonding social capital and, to a lesser degree, linking social capital, but no clear effect on bridging social capital. Length of residence, having children at home, education, being a visible minority and region also emerged as significant in many models. We argue that exploring further housing stabilization and community-building efforts among rental properties – both public and private – might yield important social capital returns.
SOURCE: Catherine Leviten-Reid and Rebecca A. Matthew, “Housing Tenure and Neighbourhood Social Capital”, Journal of Housing, Theory and Society, Pages 1-29, Published online: 15 Jun 2017
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