A new report, jointly published by Public Health Wales, BRE Trust and Welsh Government, was launched on the 30th January at a Welsh Government led Housing Information Group Seminar. The event aimed to give those with an interest in housing statistics in Wales an opportunity to find out about the latest developments in housing.
The Cost of Poor Housing in Wales looks in detail at the links between poor housing conditions (‘hazards in the home’) and their impact on health and well-being and cost to the NHS and wider society. It supplements findings in the previously published Making a Difference Housing and Health: A Case for Investment report, and also builds on previous publications by BRE Trust and Shelter.
This report focuses on hazards in the home which impact on health and well-being outcomes, for example by posing a serious or immediate risk to a person’s health and safety. In 2017-18, there were an estimated 238,000 dwellings with these hazard in Wales, or around 18 per cent of the total housing stock, with the most common hazards relating to falls in the home, and the consequences of living in cold housing.
Dr Sumina Azam, Consultant in Public Health, said:
“This report adds to our understanding of the relationship between poor housing conditions, demands on the NHS, as well as other societal costs. It provides evidence that can be used to reinforce the need for strong partnership work, with an integrated housing dimension.
“There is a continued need for organisations to work together, use their joint assets, and share intelligence that will help to address poor housing through integrated approaches to housing and health, and support people to live healthier, happier lives”.
Louise Woodfine, housing lead, said:
“Leaving people in unhealthy and hazardous housing is not an option. We hope this report stimulates continued wider discussions around the significant contribution that housing makes to improving health and well-being, reducing healthcare costs, as well as facilitating actions that lead to healthier and more sustainable homes for the people of Wales.”