Quarterly scientific journal

Economic crisis affects modern Greek house conditions: maintenance and heating deterioration

Elpida Roussakou , Fotoula Babatsikou , Eleni Konsolaki , Elias Chaidoutis , Athanasios Zisimopoulos , Charilaos Koutis

Abstract

Introduction: Home safety is a health promoting factor for all citizens. Poor quality of housing is inextricably linked to the morbidity rate of the population, injuries and socio-psychological disorders. The main affected areas of the civilians’ lives by economic crisis include their income, their living conditions and their health status related to accommodation as well as personal and social welfare. The present study aims to assess the deterioration of the modern Greek residence focusing on maintenance procedures and heating problems due to the economic crisis. Aim: The assessment of the health and safety conditions in modern residence during a period of socio-economic crisis and the examination of causal factors that contribute to the gradual deterioration of the residence. Material and Method: The sample consisted of 205 subjects lived in houses in Attica: Salamina, Piraeus-South suburbs, Athens, West Attica, Eastern and the Northern suburbs. Anonymous questionnaire was used for data collection analyzed with SPSS 20. Descriptive statistics and tests of independence were performed. Results: 72.25% (n=148) of the residents mentioned damage to the ceilings, walls, electrical cables and bathtubs in their houses. From 2009 until today, 53.7% (n=110) of the subjects postponed house repair and maintenance procedures due to financial problems. Concerning heating problems 48.3% (n = 99) of the subjects replied that they unavoidably change the type of heating system of the residence, while 30.61% (n=62) stopped the use of oil central heating system and selected other types of heating systems such a fireplaces, air-conditions, and heaters. Conclusions: The economic crisis affects the hygiene of the modern greek house and the health conditions of the residents. Serious hygienic problem may be presented due to heating and maintenance problems. As the relationship between health status and housing conditions has not been explored in depth yet, further investigation is required and new guidelines must be developed. 

Keywords: house, heating, urban population, Greece, economic crisis

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