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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Refuge : exploring the co-operative housing experience of single-mothers Nelmes, Sandra Kathleen


This study examined the views of eight single-mothers concerning their living experiences in the Four Sisters Housing Co-operative. Such knowledge concerning the views of single-mothers as primary housing consumers was thought to be essential for creating housing forms which serve their particular needs. Since there is a paucity of empirical data concerning the desiderata of co-operative housing for single-mothers, this study employed an exploratory and specifically, qualitative design. In depth, open ended interviews were conducted using a general interview guide approach. The interviews were audio-taped and varied in duration from three to four hours. The process of data analysis was guided by the techniques and procedures of the Grounded Theory approach. Four main categories were identified: (1) Pre-Co-op Housing Problems (2) Security of Housing (3) Supportive Community (4) Opportunities For Personal Development. The central theme of the study was the sense of refuge experienced by single-mothers living in the Four Sisters Housing Co-operative.

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