COVID-19 stay-at-home orders have disproportionately disrupted the domestic lives of Houston households, particularly low-income families with children. This pilot study of sixteen qualitative interviews identifies immediate spatial and social impacts on the daily home life of families in the Greater Fifth Ward, Harris County, during and after the county’s “Stay Home, Work Safe” order. Stay-at-home Stress is a spatial survey that uses video interviews, plan drawings, and maps to document residents’ domestic experiences and concerns, and to identify:

(1)  which home stressors require urgent mitigation,
(2) which stressors may be alleviated through spatial reorganization, and
(3) which stressors are likely to persist or worsen beyond the COVID-19 emergency period itself.

Taking a community approach, we have been working directly with the Center for Urban Transformation (CUT), a collaborative of community organizations that fills gaps in social services and community development in the Fifth Ward, to connect with local families. The resultant research hopes to provide local organizations such as the CUT, Fifth Ward CRC, and the broader research community with qualitative feedback on Fifth Ward residents’ existing housing concerns and domestic experiences under pandemic circumstances.