Skip to content

Feeling at Home – research information leaflet

We all have a sense of the emotional importance of home, captured in the phrase ‘home is where the heart is’. When social landlords are engaged in the business of managing properties, the emotional value of the home can get hidden and distorted. For many tenants, this may result in poor services and a negative relationship with their landlord. For tenants in insecure housing and those with experiences of homelessness, the impact can be devastating. Furthermore, a failure to engage with emotions in housing work is partly due to the messiness of emotional work and the challenges in measuring the value of such work. This research project intends to engage with the challenges of working with emotions through collective work with tenants, the TAROE Trust and independent and academic researchers.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for a minimum of 12 tenants who are involved in scrutiny and/or decision-making work at their social landlord to work with us on exploring the value of emotional insights in social housing work.

What is the ask?

For tenants to attend introductory training about emotional insights (paid landlord staff will be invited to attend the training separately). The insights are designed to be practical and to trigger new thinking and ideas. We ask that you report back on how you have used the insights in your scrutiny and tenant involvement work. This will be either through one-to-one interviews and/or focus groups depending on the number who take part.

We will deliver a social media campaign as the project unfolds. The focus of the campaign is on your experiences of the project and what you think of the insights. The level of involvement in this can vary from none to deeply involved,  depending on your level of comfort.

Timescales are short. We intend to complete recruitment on 31 January 2023, deliver the training in early February and conduct the interviews and/or focus groups by 31 March 2023.

What support is available?

A mix of digital drop-ins, telephone support, and one-to-one advice on using the insights are available during the project.

What are the intended outcomes?

The primary outcome is to identify a suite of emotional insights that can improve communication and understanding between tenants and landlords and improve landlord practices from the perspective of tenants. A secondary aim is to produce a report briefing and recommendations about using emotional insights in housing work. A third aim is to raise the profile of TAROE Trust among tenants and landlords. See to find out more about this independent charity.

Who do I contact about taking part?

The research is hosted by the Centre for Urban Wellbeing and delivered through a collaboration with TAROE Trust and Hannah Absalom from Train and Consult. Please contact either TAROE Trust at  or email Hannah at with questions or to express your interest in taking part.

Confidentiality and anonymity

In order to preserve your confidentiality, pseudonyms (which are made up names) will be used when transcribing interviews and observations. They will be used for people and organisations. Any people or places that are referred to will also be given pseudonyms.

As the lead researcher, Hannah Absalom will keep a key for the pseudonyms that will be password protected and only known to myself and my primary supervisor. Project supervisors may see raw data that could identify you. Supervisors are fully aware of confidentiality requirements and will not share or discuss this data outside of the project.

Even though pseudonyms are being used, it may still be possible to identify you and/or the case study organisation from the research and data. By agreeing to participate in the research you are accepting this risk and waiving the right to withdraw consent if such a situation arises.

Participation in the project is voluntary, and you have the right to withdraw from the study at any point up to 4 weeks after data collection has ended. This is because once the data is anonymised, the research will need to start analysing the data in order to complete the study within a maximum period of student registration.

Limits to confidentiality: if you share information that reveals that you or someone else is in significant harm or danger, it will be my responsibility as a researcher to report this to someone empowered to take action. I will discuss this with you if this is the case.

Who is funding this?

This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, project number 1003120. Ethical approval has been obtained from the University of Birmingham, project number ERN19-0356.

You can contact Hannah Absalom’s thesis supervisor, Professor Jessica Pykett, via email,  or the ethics panel directly at if you have concerns about this research.