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The full cost of poor housing

Research from BRE reveals the £18.6 billion cost of leaving England’s housing homes unimproved. Although we’ve largely eradicated the diseases associated with the slums of the Victorian era in developed countries like England, there remain a significant number of health and safety hazards in the home.  This is compounded by the fact that the UK has one of the oldest housing stocks in the developed world.

The report based on a research project funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government and the BRE Trust updates the original report The real cost of poor housing that was published in 2010.  The original report introduced a model to calculate the costs and benefits associated with the main building-related hazards found in homes in England.  It uses the latest published data on health and safety hazards in the home and updated NHS treatment costs.  It takes into account the rising cost of NHS treatment and the benefits of Quality Adjusted Life Years.

Lead author Mike Roys stated “The revised model expands the costs to the NHS to include wider societal costs such as medical costs, lost education and employment opportunities.”  The definition of poor housing has been further expanded to include all sub-standard housing, not just those with serious hazards.

Dr Ann Marie Connolly, Deputy Director, Health Equity and Mental Health at Public Health England said: “We welcome this report which adds to existing evidence and our wider understanding of the link between poor housing, demands on NHS care and associated social costs.  We hope this report will stimulate wider discussions and local action to address the important role that good housing plays in underpinning the health and wellbeing of the people of England.”

The report is published via IHS BRE Press and available from the BRE Bookshop.