Abstract: Trapped in Housing Insecurity: Barriers to Housing Equity Experienced By IPV Survivors from Marginalized Communities (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

Trapped in Housing Insecurity: Barriers to Housing Equity Experienced By IPV Survivors from Marginalized Communities

Sunday, January 15, 2023
Hospitality 2 - Room 444, 4th Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Shanti Kulkarni, Professor, UNC Charlotte
Background: Homelessness and intimate partner violence (IPV) do not impact all communities equally. Survivors from marginalized communities—that is communities that have been historically and structurally excluded from social, economic and political resources—face additional challenges weathering IPV and housing crises. Understanding the housing experiences of marginalized survivors is necessary in order to achieve safety, healing, and housing equity for all survivors.

Method: Community-based participatory research methods were utilized to convene 14 listening sessions (7 primary/7 validation) with Black and Latinx IPV survivors with intersectional identities. Listening sessions were held in community-based locations including a church, health clinic, social service agency, and private residence. The last 5 validation sessions were conducted virtually on Zoom due to Covid pandemic protocols. All listening sessions were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Latinx population listening sessions were conducted in Spanish and were implemented and translated with attention to linguistic justice principles. The research team used a modified constructivist grounded theory approach for data analysis.

Results: Four overarching themes (and 13 sub-themes) related to survivors’ housing experiences emerged: 1) safety and healing challenges, including living in unhealthy physical environments, not being safe in their homes, and contending with community violence, sexual exploitation threats, and eviction fears; 2) formal service fragmentation/bureaucracy that hampered access to housing resource information and resources; 3) resource scarcity associated with limited affordable housing stock; and 4) systemic oppression resulting from discriminatory treatment and gentrification. These themes operated across multiple socio-ecological levels to keep already socially marginalized survivors trapped in a cycle of housing insecurity

Conclusion/Implications: Findings offer a conceptual model of cycle of housing insecurity developed using CBPR methods and intersectionality as a lens that draws attention to the cyclical nature of getting, keeping and losing housing. Study findings extend literature that highlights the ways in which housing stability is constrained by structural factors, such as violence and marginalization and enhanced by the presence of social support and emotional well-being. Interventions that are flexible and center survivors’ intersectional priorities are necessary to disrupt the cycle of housing insecurity in which many socially marginalized survivors are living. Participants shared numerous examples of service delivery that did not honor survivors as the experts in their own lives. Housing services delivered in ways that are survivor-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally relevant can help improve survivor accessibility, satisfaction, and well-being. Future research can deepen our understanding of population specific experiences, including culturally specific research that increases insights about IPV survivors' inter-related experiences with racism, migration, and housing.