Poor quality homes in England cost the NHS £1.4bn per year
Although we've largely eradicated the diseases associated with the slums of Victorian Britain, there remain a significant number of health and safety hazards in many homes.
This is compounded by the fact that the UK has some of the oldest housing stock in the developed world.
The cost to the NHS from injuries and illness directly attributable to homes in poor condition is calculated to be £1.4bn per year, and the wider cost to society (including medical costs, lost education and employment opportunities) of leaving England’s poor housing unimproved is £18.6 billion.
The report, The true cost of poor housing, is based on a research project funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government and the BRE Trust and updates an earlier report The real cost of poor housing, published in 2010.
The original report introduced a model to calculate the costs and benefits associated with the main building-related hazards found in homes in England.
The new report expands on this, using the latest published data on health and safety hazards in the home and updated NHS treatment costs. It also now takes into account the rising cost of NHS treatment and the benefits of Quality Adjusted Life Years.
Lead author Mike Roys stated “The revised model expands the costs to the NHS to include wider societal costs such as medical costs, lost education and employment opportunities.” The definition of poor housing has been further expanded to include all sub-standard housing, not just those with serious hazards. ■