Hoarding disorder affects approximately 4-6 per cent of the population. In Wales there is a lack of community-based support with no governmental nor local policies and procedures to help housing associations support tenants with hoarding behaviour.
Traditionally hoarding has been viewed as a housing issue and ways of dealing with it have included punitive measures such as enforced clear-outs, recharges to the tenant and in severe cases, eviction. This is not ideal for tenants or housing associations as it is often ineffective and costly. Each case of hoarding disorder costs a housing association an estimated £45k.
As part of my ESF-funded KESS PhD, I am partnered with United Welsh and Monmouthshire Housing Association to trial Motivational Interviewing (MI) as a potential method for reducing hoarding behaviour. MI is a conversational method used to identify and enhance an individual’s desire to change by exploring and resolving ambivalence.
The initial investigation was designed to be delivered face-to-face in participant’s homes. However, due to social distancing requirements, the study has been adapted to provide remote delivery of MI using an online video and audio platform like WhatsApp.
The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that United Welsh and Monmouthshire Housing Association have had to pivot to provide remote services. This provided me with an opportunity to broaden my PhD's focus and include an additional theme of exploring remote service delivery from service provider and service user perspective. I am looking forward to building on my findings so far and seeing what emerges from this new strand too.