Housing is one of fundamental building blocks for a healthy life and all aspects of our homes and where we live affect our physical and mental health and well-being.
For a home to be healthy, it needs to be warm, free of damp and have enough space and light, for example. It also needs to be affordable to live in and well-suited to our needs.
The World Health Organization is clear that healthy housing must also provide a feeling of home – a sense of belonging, security and privacy. Our surrounding communities and neighbourhoods also play a role in supporting good health and well-being.
Finally, how our homes are built, maintained and how energy efficient they are also bring benefits to our health, and at the same time play an important part in addressing the climate and nature emergencies.
Recognising that housing is a fundamental building block for a healthy life, Public Health Wales works with stakeholders and policymakers to help create a Wales where everyone’s home supports them to live in good physical and mental health and well-being.
You can find more information about Public Health Wales’ work in this area by exploring our publications on healthy housing:
As part of a wider project to determine whether current indoor temperature standards for households in Wales are optimal for people’s comfort, health, and well-being, this review aims to identify and appraise the current evidence on the association between cold homes and health and well-being.
This report summarises the impact housing (across tenure) has on health and well-being across the life course; sets out the case for investing in housing as a determinant of health by identifying which interventions work and offer value for money; and identifies priority areas for preventative action within Wales. The report aims to inform, support and advocate for wider health policy and cross-sector approaches and interventions offering benefits to the public, health system, society and the economy.
This joint report from the BRE Trust, Public Health Wales and Welsh Government looks in detail at the links between poor housing conditions – in this case, ‘hazards in the home’ – and their impact on health and well-being and cost to the NHS and wider society.
This report aims to describe the impact of winter and cold weather on health and well-being in Wales and the subsequent effects on health and care services, in a way that can inform strategic planning for the future.
This comprehensive and participatory Health Impact Assessment (HIA) explores the health and well-being impact of COVID-19 on housing and housing insecurity, and looks at the importance of having a consistent home that is of good quality, affordable, and feels safe. It also considers security of tenure in relation to stability, and being able to maintain a roof over one’s head and ultimately prevent homelessness.
This discussion paper highlights how, at present, Wales’ housing stock is some of the least energy efficient in Europe. It shows that efforts to improve household energy efficiency can have a positive impact on ambitions for decarbonisation and climate change, and can also lead to improvements in health and well-being.
This report evaluates the ACE-informed training for housing resource and makes recommendations for future ACE-based training in the housing sector. The ACE-informed training for housing resource was developed by a multi-agency approach through consultation with housing representatives from different tenures across Wales, and aims to raise awareness of and increase confidence in responding to ACEs and vulnerability in the housing sector.