Better housing is crucial for our health and the COVID-19 recovery


This paper by The Health Foundation sets out the links between housing and health and explores the inequalities in housing across different groups and types of tenures.

It then consider the impact of COVID-19 on housing so far, future risks and possible ways forward.

The paper highlights three critical factors linking housing and health, namely:

  • Quality and condition : relating to non-decent homes and the physical characteristics of homes, such as disrepair (for example, damp is associated with health problems, including respiratory issues); overcrowding and the impact of well-designed accommodation, internal and external space/gardens upon mental health and wellbeing..
  • Stability and security : relating to the extent to which people have control over how long they live in their homes, and how secure they feel, maintain community connections  and a sense of belonging.
  • Affordability : relating to the financial pressure caused by housing payments – both for housing itself and for utilities and maintenance, and everyday living expenses.

Furthermore, it explains that COVID-19 has been an intensifier for all three of these existing factors.  For example, whether people have been able to adapt their home environment during prolonged lockdown – working from home, education, caring or isolating - and, in the light of these, considers the role of housing in the spread and experience of the COVID-19 pandemic.