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The real cost of poor housing (FB 23)

The real cost of poor housing (FB 23)

by M Davidson, M Roys, S Nicol, D Ormandy and P Ambrose (15-Feb-2010)


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Book Description

The relationship between poor housing and poor health has been recognised for a long time, but until recently it has not been possible to estimate the cost to society of poor housing. Although the problems of disease associated with slum living have largely been eradicated in England, a significant number of health and safety hazards in the home remain. ’Poor housing’ is defined as housing which fails to meet the statutory minimum standard for housing in England, as assessed by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. This report highlights weaknesses in existing models of the housing stock and proposes a new model which overcomes them. The model uses data from the English House Condition Survey to illustrate the effects of various scenarios and repair options. It allows all the hazards measured in the Survey to be compared, and identifies repair solutions which provide direct benefit to the NHS through reduced injury rates and treatment costs. This model allows the total health cost of poor housing in England to be estimated as over £600 million per year. The total cost to society each year may be greater than £1.5 billion.

Format: A4, 56 pages.


1 Introduction
Background. Aims and objectives

2 The evidence on links between housing and health
Research and statistics. Sources of data on housing and health

3 Defining Poor Housing
Our definition. The HHSRS in more detail. More background details of the EHCS. Estimating dwellings with serious hazards in the EHCS using the HHSRS. Data quality and reliability

4 Options for estimating the costs of poor housing
Overall approach. Previous work. What types of costs can and should be included? Which aspects should be focused on? Method of estimating the cost

5 Cost for a cost benefit analysis
Cost of harms. Typical costs of treatment. Cost to repair

6 Modelling cost benefit
Simple model. Problems and solutions. An improved Model. Comparing hazards

7 Total cost of poor housing

8 Conclusion and recommendations

9 References

Appendix: Sample worked example for HHSRS assessments taken from EHCS surveyor training manual

Other publications that may be of interest
Sustainable refurbishment of Victorian housing - guidance, assessment method and case studies
Knock it down or do it up? Sustainable housebuilding: New build and refurbishment in the Sustainable Communities Plan

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