Positive Living, Positive Homes

Positive Living, Positive Homes logo


Research Highlights:

Take a look at this short video to learn more about the Positive Living, Positive Homes study and findings:

Positive Living, Positive Homes (PLPH) is a community-based research project in British Columbia born out of the community’s identification of housing as a critical health determinant for people living with, or at risk of, HIV and AIDS. While community-based organizations recognize housing is an important issue for  people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) and those most “at risk,” housing for PLHIV and those at-risk is not systematically addressed in policies and programs.

The PLPH study has been fostering community-based research in BC since 2008, developing capacity and supporting national HIV and housing research links. A multi-stakeholder investigative team was formed of PLHIV, HIV service organizations, researchers, related community-based organizations, and representatives from our government partner organizations such as BC Housing and various health authorities. The research project is led by PAN Executive Director Jennifer Evin Jones and Dr. Cathy Worthington of the University of Victoria.



Positive Living, Positive Homes uses a case-study approach to:

  • Investigate PLHIV experiences of housing and health over time, exploring the personal, social and structural factors that influence health and well-being;
  • Examine how housing and HIV programs, services and policies have influenced access to housing and interacted with housing experiences to influence health and well-being;
  • Document the successes and challenges of various housing-related policies, and identify best practices for HIV and housing programs, services and policies so they may better meet the needs of PLHIV;
  • Mobilize research findings on HIV and housing in BC into actionable policy recommendations in order to improve community-based organizations’ ability to deliver programs and services.


Research Process

2014: Development of four interview guides using a participatory approach to research method development. The guides contain over 200 open-ended questions, prompts, and visual research activities. Full ethics approval was granted by the University of Victoria in July of 2014.

2015: Three site coordinators – Prince George, Kamloops, and Greater Vancouver – began the process of interviewing people living with HIV. The participants were interviewed again in 2016 to see how things had changed for them over the course of the year.

2016: Service providers and decision makers from the three communities were interviewed in 2016 to explore the various housing needs and pressures faced by different regions of the province.

2017: Analysis and knowledge translation to move the information into communities. Given the project’s community-grounded research objectives, it is hoped and anticipated that this study will impact housing programs and policies in BC, promoting greater access to suitable, affordable and culturally or otherwise appropriate housing services.

2018: We have shared our findings in a number of ways (see below) and will continue through the end of our funding cycle March 31, 2019.


HIV Housing Toolkit – www.hivhousingtoolkit.ca

The HIV Housing Toolkit grows out of the Positive Living, Positive Homes study and is an action to support housing and health for people living with HIV. This multi-module virtual toolkit provides information about accessing and maintaining housing in BC for people living with HIV. The toolkit is intended to support people living with HIV by providing information about navigating BC’s housing system, while supporting service providers that work with people living with HIV in helping their clients access and maintain housing.

There are currently nine modules to support learning and capacity-building. Many modules include ancillary printable resources to support learning. Some example topics from the HIV Housing Toolkit include:

  • considerations around moving
  • making decisions about what housing is right for you and
  • tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities.


Knowledge Translation and Resources

Darren Lauscher and Janice Duddy at CAHR 2019

2019: The Tangle of HIV Disclosure, Stigma and Housing: Supporting Self Determination of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) (presented at Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research (CAHR) 2019

2019: “Yeah, my kids are number one”: stories from Positive Living, Positive Homes (blog)

2019: The Cost of Living: the Lower Mainland’s Affordability Crisis and PLPH (blog)

2019: Understanding Home: Exploring complex relationships between housing and health of people living with HIV in British Columbia (presentation at National Congress on Housing and Homelessness)

2019: “Time goes flying away”: How housing insecurity affects time for health (blog)

2018: Home and Choice (blog)

2018: Housing and Health: Connecting Policy to Practice (Cleo Neville, University of Victoria and PAN)

2018: Innovations and Challenges in Housing Provision for People Living with HIV in BC (Poster at Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) conference)

2018: Pets a Key to Health, Positive Living Positive Home Study Confirms (blog)

2018: Bringing Research Home: Findings from Positive Living Positive Homes and BC Stigma Index (webinar on-demand)

2017: Spotlight on Community-Based Research: Positive Living, Positive Homes (slides)

2016: Positive Living, Positive Homes Update (Ignite-style webinar on-demand)

2016: Mapping Home: Positive Living, Positive Homes at CAHR 2016 (blog)

2015: Housing, health and HIV  (blog)

2013: 2013: Knowledge Translation in Action: Creating Policy Change through Housing Research. (slides from consultant Debbie Thompson at February 2013 Knowledge to Action: Strategic Directions in Community-Based Research event that PAN hosted)

2013: Faces of UVic Research Video: Cathy Worthington speaks about Positive Living, Positive Homes

2012: The PLPH team met to learn about CBR and to develop research questions for the study. Below are links to download the presentations from this workshop (*please note that the larger presentations will take some time to download):

Ethics in CBR

CBR – Quantitative Case Study

CBR – Qualitative Case Study

Developing a Research Question

Positive Spaces, Health Places: Moving Research Into Action – Demonstrating the Links between Housing and Health of People Living with HIV in Ontario

Positive Places, Healthy Spaces: Influencing Housing Services and Policies for People Living with HIV: Some Lessons Learned, Success Stories and Challenges from Positive Spaces, Healthy Places


We appreciate the support of the Canadian Institute for Health Research and the CIHR Centre for REACH for their support on this project.