The links between health and housing are well established. Areas with high levels of multiple deprivation usually exhibit a close association between poor housing conditions and health inequalities.
The Government’s Estate Regeneration National Strategy, published in December 2016, includes a good practice guide which sets out key considerations for estate regeneration schemes, including health and wellbeing issues and impacts, and contains a design and quality checklist for use in the design and masterplanning of schemes.
Undertaking a health impact assessment can also help to highlight the potential health benefits and opportunities of housing renewal programmes and housing led regeneration schemes.
The adverse health impacts of cold and damp conditions, excess heat, indoor contamination, overcrowding and poor design and the range of possible interventions have been documented in a number of reports, including:
- The health impacts of spatial planning decisions, The King’s Fund/London Healthy Urban Development Unit, April 2009
- Fair Society, Healthy Lives, The Marmot Review, Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England Post-2010, Feb 2010
- The Full Cost of Poor Housing, BRE Trust, 2016
Housing and health also takes on a special significance when considering strategies for dealing with the health and social care impacts of an Ageing Population.
More recently, NHS England and partners have published a guide on health and housing as part of an engagement programme with CCGs to improve knowledge and understanding about how housing can impact and support health organisations achieve their outcomes and encourage the building of effective working relationships locally between health and housing.
The Quick Guide: Health and Housing focuses on three key areas:
- how housing can help prevent people from being admitted to hospital;
- how housing can help people be discharged from hospital;
- how housing can support people to remain independent in the community.