Housing and health

Housing and health: opportunities for sustainability and transformation partnerships | The King’s Fund

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This short report, supported by the National Housing Federation, is intended to help those leading and contributing to sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and emerging integrated care systems (ICSs) to make the most of the contribution that housing can make to health as they deliver and continue to develop. The authors suggest that housing is one of the core local services that STPs and ICSs need to engage with at a strategic level as they develop population health systems. In particular this report sets out:

  • why housing is important for STPs and emerging ICSs
  • how well housing is currently represented in STPs
  • three priorities: supporting discharge, the use of NHS estates and mental health
  • going further: the broader importance of housing to health across the life-course
  • recommendations for action: maximising opportunities in the short and long term.

Full report: Housing and health: opportunities for sustainability and transformation partnerships

See also: Improving health and care through the home: Memorandum of understanding | Public Health England

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Housing for older people

A report by the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee has concluded that a national strategy for older people’s housing is needed to bring together and improve policy in this area | House of Commons Select Committee

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A report on Housing for Older People recommends that the wider availability of housing advice and information should be central to a national strategy. The report calls on the Government to recognise the link between homes and health and also recommends that the National Planning Policy Framework be amended to encourage the development of more housing for older people, and that councils identify a target proportion of new housing to be developed for this purpose.

New homes, the report recommends, should be accessible and adaptable  so that they are ‘age proofed’ and can meet the current and future needs of older people.

Further details:

 

What makes us healthy?

The Health Foundation has published What makes us healthy?

This infographic is part of a new series of infographics and accompanying blogs and commentaries to describe and explain the social determinants of health in an accessible and engaging way. This infographic shows the extent to which health is primarily shaped by factors outside the direct influence of healthcare and invites people to look at this bigger picture.

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Image source: http://www.health.org.uk

Health and housing

Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network has published Health and housing: building the evidence base.

house-310496_1280This paper reviews the evidence from projects and pilot initiatives which bring together health and housing, with a particular focus on older people. It suggests that closer working between the NHS and the housing sector can help reduce hospital admissions and emergency department visits, speed up the discharge of older patients and maintain the independence of older people.

Tackling poverty through housing and planning policy in city regions

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published ‘Tackling poverty through housing and planning policy in city regions’.

Tackling poverty through housing
Image source: https://www.jrf.org.uk/

This research draws on stakeholders in city regions to identify good practice and what more could be done through housing and planning policy to reduce or mitigate poverty. It finds that:

  • Combined authorities are well placed to lead on poverty reduction, given their central role in the devolution process, growing focus on poverty and inequality, constituent authorities’ housing and planning expertise, and the ability to co-ordinate across multiple policy areas.
  • Further action could be taken in two key areas: linking housing development to poverty reduction, and improving conditions in the private rented sector.

Read the report here

Improving health through the home

Resources to inform local action to ensure that everyone has a home in which to start, live and work, and age well.

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This guide produced by Public Health England describes why investing in improving the home or housing circumstances may be an effective means to:

  • improving health and wellbeing
  • reducing health inequalities
  • preventing, delaying and reducing demand for health care and social care

To support and inform local action, links are provided to the main sources of data, evidence and guidance. A checklist suggests the questions that should be asked locally of commissioning plans to ensure that home, health and wellbeing are considered in all policies.

Behind the Headlines: Older people who privately rent their homes

A report published by Age UK ‘Behind the Headlines: Older people who privately rent their homes’ has revealed the reality of life for people over 65 at the bottom of the private rented sector.

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image source: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/
  • The report is based on frequent calls to the charity’s advice line about problems with privately rented accommodation
  • Age UK has found that many older private tenants are living in appalling conditions with disinterested landlords and negligent letting agents
  • The number of older people renting in the private sector is set to soar in coming years.

Private renting: the future for older people

Currently, households aged over 65 account for fewer than one in ten of all those living in the private rented sector.

This is a rapidly increasing housing option for older people, with 200,000 joining the rental market in the last four years. Estimates show that a third of over-60s could be living in private rented accommodation by 2040.

The report recommends that:

  • Environmental health departments should be properly resourced to carry out their duties and take proactive steps where necessary.
  • Ensure that older people and their relatives can enforce their rights and improve their conditions without repercussions.
  • Older people should be offered flexible tenancies, improve accessibility and heating standards, and offer better protection from bad landlords.
  • Privately rented properties should be comfortable, warm and accessible.
  • Private rented housing should be suitable for older people in terms of flexible tenancies, accessibility, regular maintenance, location and cost.
  • Older people should be informed about their housing options, and have access to trustworthy advice.

Read the report here