Default hero image

BRE briefing paper shows simple changes to the homes of older people could save the NHS over £600million a year

Note: This press release is over six months old and the details may have been superseded. Please contact the Press Office for the latest information.

This press release is over six months old and the details may have been superseded. Please contact the Press Office for the latest information.

The briefing paper ‘Homes and Ageing in England’, prepared by BRE on behalf of Public Health England, builds on the earlier BRE publication ‘The cost of poor housing to the NHS’ and will be launched at the ‘Healthy Places for People’ conference at BRE in Watford on 10 December.

homesandageingbriefingpaper2Using data collected by the English Housing Survey, and the methodology from the earlier report, the findings show that there are over a million homes occupied by those over 55 where there is a significant risk to health (for example excess cold or of injury from falling on poorly designed steps, both inside and outside the home). Treating these avoidable illnesses and injuries costs the NHS over £600m a year. The paper provides costings and case studies for a range of remedial works, and calculates pay-back periods for them.

Co-author of Homes and Ageing in England, Helen Garrett says: “We hope that this paper will be of interest to professionals and academia working in the field of housing and/or health, including Health and Wellbeing Boards, housing providers and agencies supporting the care of the elderly, as well as national policy makers.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England says: “We welcome this publication by BRE as a significant contribution to the understanding of the connections between housing and health. We hope that this will engender wider discussions around health and wellbeing, healthcare costs, prevention and the role which good housing plays in underpinning the health and wellbeing of older people.”

The ‘Healthy Places for People’ conference, (HP4P) is a full day event at BRE on 10 December. It brings together strategic leaders from the housing, public health and NHS sectors to discuss their priorities and explore why we should work together more closely. Key speakers include Dr Angie Bone, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection, PHE and David Pencheon, Director of the Sustainable Development Unit, NHS England . Discounted conference places are available to local authority or NHS employees. Full details at

The briefing paper ‘Homes and Ageing in England‘ can now be downloaded from the BRE website

Press enquiries to Peter White, BRE Press Office,
T 01923 664309 E: [email protected]


BRE: We are a world leading building science centre and the authority on all aspects of the built environment. We generate new knowledge through research that is used to create products, tools and standards that drive positive change across the built environment. We enable our government and private sector clients to meet the environmental, social and economic challenges they face by delivering higher performing, better quality, safer, more secure and more sustainable products homes, buildings and communities. We are owned by the BRE Trust, a registered charity, which funds research and education that advances knowledge of the built environment.  We are committed to building a better world together. We are BRE.

English Housing Survey: The English housing survey is a continuous national survey commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). It collects information about people’s housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England.

Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It does this through world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health.