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Sustainability 2013, 5(12), 5249-5271; doi:10.3390/su5125249

Perspectives on Sustainability: Exploring the Views of Tenants in Supported Social Housing

1,*  and 2
Received: 13 May 2013 / Revised: 21 November 2013 / Accepted: 21 November 2013 / Published: 9 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Creative Solutions to Big Challenges)
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Government policy aimed at curbing carbon emissions often focusses on encouraging individual action, however the effectiveness of this approach has been limited. Investigations of why this might be have included segmentation, to identify different groups who undertake more or less action, and analysis of various “barriers” to action. Those on lower incomes who are not home owners have previously been found to be less engaged in seeking out energy efficiency information. Working with low-income tenants living in supported social housing we conducted three group interviews, accompanied by a 7-item scale measuring general attitude towards the environment. The interviews were aimed at opening up discussion about environmental and energy issues, including exploring more deeply what, for these participants, underlies barriers to conservation behaviours. We found participants to be very willing to engage in conversation and knowledgeable about a range of relevant issues. Barriers explored include: lack of confidence in existing levels of knowledge, habit, self-interest and lack of agency, and in all cases several different perspectives were voiced by participants. Implications for policy, interventions and public engagement are given, including ways to increase dialogue and reflection on sustainability issues for all sectors of society.
Keywords: households; energy use; motivations; barriers; social housing; environment households; energy use; motivations; barriers; social housing; environment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Robison, R.A.V.; Jansson-Boyd, C.V. Perspectives on Sustainability: Exploring the Views of Tenants in Supported Social Housing. Sustainability 2013, 5, 5249-5271.

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