Towards better home design for people in temporary accommodation: exploring relationships between meanings of home, activities, and indoor environmental quality

M.E. Overtoom*, M.G. Elsinga, P.M. Bluyssen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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People living in short-term rental housing, henceforth temporary housing, are rarely consulted by professionals involved in the design process, whether regarding new or refurbished buildings. Knowing what is required for temporary dwellers to feel at home and how their meanings of home relate to household characteristics, activities, and indoor environmental quality, might result in better designs for these commonly small dwellings. To explore the views of temporary occupants about their home environment, we designed and conducted a survey directed to young people in the Netherlands, likely to be familiar with living in temporary accommodation (141 university students, 58 refugees who have received a permit to stay; henceforth named permit holders), 23 persons who were working 4 days and studying 1 day; henceforth named starters). Through factor analysis, six meanings of home were found to be statistically significant: Representation, privacy, sociability, rootedness, future, and appropriation. Multiple regression analyses and analyses of variance indicated that meanings of home were related to some household characteristics and the presence of light and cleanliness. Our study showed that measuring meanings of home might help understand not only how dwellings are used but also how to improve the design of small temporary dwellings. For instance, more possibilities for good or natural light, storage, and the display of personal possessions should be incorporated into the design of these small dwellings.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Home
  • Activities
  • IEQ
  • Household characteristics
  • Design
  • Temporary
  • Accommodation

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