Improving health through the home
Homes for Health Infographics
Our homes are the cornerstones of our lives. Where we live and the quality of our homes has an important impact on our health and how we feel. While we hear much in the news about the shortage of housing, until recently, we have heard less about the quality of our existing homes and how the very fabric of our housing affects our wellbeing, risk of disease and demands on health and care services. We need warm, safe and secure homes to help us to lead healthy, independent lives and to recover from illness.
One in five households with people of working age live in non-decent housing, housing that does not reach minimum standards or is not in a reasonable state of repair. The Building Research Establishment estimates that the cost to the NHS alone of poor housing for those over age 55 is about £624m per year. This is mainly caused by cold homes or by falls and injuries. There is an increasing number people, especially younger people and young families living in private sector accommodation, but a considerable proportion of that accommodation does not meet decent home standards. We still have too many families living in overcrowded housing (724,000 households) with increased risk of mental health problems, infectious disease, injuries, breathing problems and exposure to tobacco harm.
PHE recognises that housing is a core determinant of good health or of inequalities in healthy life expectancy. They support the wider health system to create awareness, support action and promote integration between health and housing. Professionals from across the health and housing fields are in a great place to join together to make the most of the role that homes can play in preventing illness and supporting good mental and physical health.
PHE has released the attached infographics to support these discussions locally. Please click on each image to view all infographics.
Homes for people of working age
Homes for older people
Homes for children and families
Further resources in the Homes for Health collection can be found here.