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Thu June 24 2021

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Research shows poor housing costs the UK billions every year

23 May 16 Failure to adequately maintain Britain’s housing stock costs the National Health Service £1.4bn a year, according to a report from the Building Research Establishment.

The authors reckon that the knock-on cost of poor housing to wider society, including lost education and employment opportunities, is £18.6bn a year.

The report The true cost of poor housing1 is based on a research project funded by the Department of Communities & 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 more recent data on health and safety hazards in the home and updated NHS treatment costs. 

Lead author Mike Roys said: “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.”

Public Health England deputy director Ann Marie Connolly said: “We welcome this report which adds to existing evidence and our wider understanding of the link between poor housing, demands on NHS care and associated social costs.  We hope this report will stimulate wider discussions and local action to address the important role that good housing plays in underpinning the health and wellbeing of the people of England.”

1. The report can be purchased from the BRE Bookshop.

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