Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Eliana Suarez

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Cheryl-Anne Cait

Advisor Role

Committee Member


Recently distinguished as a distinct disorder in the DSM-V, hoarding remains a behaviour about which we have only a cursory understanding. Hoarding behaviours can lead to a variety of health and safety risks, not only for the person who hoards, but for others who live with them, and their neighbouring community. Many studies make reference to the vulnerability of people who hoard as a result of these health and safety risks However, there has been little written about eviction specifically due to hoarding. This study explores the research question: what factors enable individuals who hoard to maintain their housing when they are potentially at risk of being evicted? A case study methodology has been used to examine the context of eviction in Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada. Qualitative interviews were conducted with six people who hoard who have been potentially at risk of eviction, as well as nine key informants who have worked with people who hoard through the eviction process. Interview data was analyzed thematically, and is represented in two global themes: 1) Building a Helping Relationship with People Who Hoard, and 2) Building a Framework within which to Provide Service. A strengths-based perspective and general systems theory help to understand the different levels of intervention that social workers and other types of workers can employ with clients who hoard to ensure more effective and positive outcomes.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Social Work Commons