College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-21-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Molly Brown, PhD

Second Advisor

Leonard Jason, PhD

Third Advisor

Anne Saw, PhD


Single Room Occupancy (SRO) housing is typically the most affordable and attainable form of housing for low-income people and is often located in desirable areas with access to social infrastructure. Literature shows SRO tenants are marginalized related to their social positionalities (i.e., they are disproportionately Black, elderly, more likely to have mental illness, and be in recovery from substance or alcohol use). Unfortunately, SRO housing has been increasingly lost to for-profit developers. The current study employed a community-based participatory action research approach and qualitative design to explore the subjective experiences of SRO residents’ displacement. An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis approach was used as well as intersectionality theory to describe both the experience of displacement and the ways tenants understand or make meaning of their displacement from SRO housing. Intersectionality theory was used to identify and describe the impact of aspects of identity and systems of power, privilege, and oppression on SRO tenant’s displacement experiences. Findings indicated SROs serve an important function within the community and displacement from SRO housing contributes to deleterious effects to tenant mental health, sense of community, and well-being. Further, tenants with minoritized identities had more barriers to housing and were disproportionately negatively affected by both the displacement and the relocation. Study findings bolster the growing support for greater inclusion of community members in both research and policymaking endeavors.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons