Housing and health
Living in a poor quality home (for example, one that's damp, cold or overcrowded) can have a serious impact on our health and wellbeing.
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.
- Overcrowded 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.
What can be done?
We are working with district and borough councils, the NHS and other local organisations to tackle housing quality issues together.
This means reducing the number of households in Hertfordshire living in a cold home, as well as improving information and advice.
Housing quality – information, advice and support
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.
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.