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Hertfordshire County Council

Housing and health

Living in a poor quality house (for example, one that's damp, cold or overcrowded) can have a serious impact on our physical and mental health.

Some people are more at risk of the effects of poor housing conditions, including:

  • Older people
  • children
  • disabled people
  • people with long term illnesses

Those living in poverty are more likely to live in poor housing conditions, or have nowhere to stay at all.

If you're considered a vulnerable person or on a low income, you may be eligible to free or discounted household energy improvements through the Hertfordshire Warmer Homes scheme:

Why it matters

  • Cost. Research shows the health impact of poor housing quality costs the NHS £1.4 billion a year. For every £1 spent on improving homes, the NHS will save £70 over 10 years.
  • Education and employment. Poor housing lowers educational attainment and increases the likelihood of unemployment and poverty in later life.
  • Conditions like TB, respiratory illness and psychological distress are more common in overcrowded homes.
  • Poor quality homes are associated with exposure to tobacco smoke, accidents, disturbed sleep and slow growth. They all increase risk of coronary heart disease in later life.

We tackle this public health challenge with a range of partners, including:

  • colleagues in Housing teams
  • Environmental Health
  • NHS services
  • private landlords
  • housing associations
  • community protection teams
  • charities

Housing quality

In Hertfordshire, housing is the responsibility of the local district and borough councils. They are responsible for social housing, benefits and homelessness and may be able to help with home improvements.

Find your local housing service

For general advice and support on housing quality issues, you can also contact HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044. This is Hertfordshire’s confidential and independent information and advice service.

Transport and health

Transport plays an important role in our health. It connects communities, reduces social isolation and helps us access employment and education. All of these are a positive influence on our wellbeing.

Transport also plays a role in tackling some of our biggest health challenges, including poor air quality, physical inactivity and obesity.

The costs to society of transport-induced poor air quality, ill health and road accidents exceed £40 billion each year.


We work closely with our Highways and Transport Planning teams to ensure all aspects of physical health and mental wellbeing are considered in transport policy and highways schemes.

See our joint Physical Activity and Transport briefing for more information on active travel.

 

Air quality

Defra - Air pollution forecasts Defra - Air pollution health advice Defra - About air pollution


What are councils doing about it?

District and borough councils assess and develop plans for areas where air pollution exceeds national targets.

We've agreed an air quality strategy with the district and borough councils and provided funding to purchase particulate matter (PM 2.5) monitoring equipment across the county.

Air quality plans in your area

 

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Like many other websites, we place small information files called 'cookies' on your computer.

Why do we use cookies?

To remember your settings, for example your language and location. This means you don’t have to keep entering these details when you visit a new page.

To find out how you use the site to help us update and improve it.

How do I change my cookie settings?

You can change the settings of your web browser so that it won’t accept cookies. For more information visit AboutCookies.org.

But, doing this may stop you from using some of the online features and services on this website. 

Cookies we use

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Performance and feature cookies – these cookies help to improve the performance and feel of this website, for example providing you with personalised services.


Take a look at a list of cookies we use on our website:

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Required functionality

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Just for the time you are on our website.

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Required functionality

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Just for the time you are on our website.

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Required functionality

To track the effectiveness of our website using Google Analytics. 

2 years

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Performance and feature

To save the pages that you visit by clicking the heart at the top of the page. 

1 month

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Performance and feature

This stores your postcode (or partial postcode) when we ask you for your location.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).

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Required functionality

This used to track user sessions on forms hosted on eservices.hertfordshire.gov.uk

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Third party cookies

There are links and content from other sites and services on our website. These sites and services set their own cookies.

Below are a list of cookies that the other sites and services use:

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Google analytics (_utma/b/c/z)

These are used to compile reports for us on how people use this site.

Cookies of the same names are also used for the same purpose by other websites such as Building FuturesCountryside Management Service and Hertfordshire LIS.

Visit the Google Analytics website for more information about the cookies they use.

You can prevent data from being collected and used by Google Analytics by installing Google's Opt-out Browser Add-on.

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It expires at the end of your browser session.

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