Can we afford the poor quality housing that cost NHS £1.4bn?

  • 24 May 2016

howardchapmanHoward Chapman, Buildingtalk Editor, on the latest BRE report reveals poor quality housing in England is costing society £18.6 billion and is helping bankrupt the NHS.

Latest updated BRE Research reveals that lack of improvements to 15% of England’s poor quality housing in England is costing society £18.6bn and helping bankrupt the NHS – plus these poor quality homes are costing the NHS £1.4bn per year – about the same as the reported NHS budget overspend.

The UK has some of the oldest housing stock in the developed world and much of this stock needs upgrading. The focus in recent years has been on the sustainability affects of all the extra carbon generated by this housing. But this BRE report reminds us of the human cost of abandoning the most vulnerable citizens to the consequent poverty and poor health outcomes of poor housing.

bre poor housing costsThe report, The Full Cost of Poor Housing, published by IHS/BRE Press and available from the BRE Bookshop, uses the latest published data on health and safety hazards in the home and updated NHS treatment costs. The definition of poor housing has been further expanded to include all sub-standard housing, not just those with serious hazards.

This report is important for surveyors, housing policy analysts and policy makers, town planners, housing managers in the public and private sector, landlords, property owners, health professionals and managers.

Dr Ann Marie Connolly, Deputy Director, Health Equity and Mental Health at Public Health England: “The report 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.”

Lead author Mike Roys: “The revised model expands the costs to the NHS to include wider societal costs such as medical costs, lost education and employment opportunities”

He explains the research findings in this BRE video:

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