The Cost of Poor Housing in England

The cost of poor housing in England cover

This report, published by Building Research Establishment (BRE), finds poor housing in England could be costing the National Health Service (NHS) £1.4billion a year in treatment bills.

This rises to £18.5 billion p.a. when wider societal costs are included (long term care, mental health etc.).

  • The most common housing hazards are causing falls injuries on stairs (over 1 million p.a. reported)
  • The most expensive housing hazard for the NHS is excess cold, costing £857 million p.a.
  • Falls and excess cold are particularly dangerous for older people, who live in nearly half (2 million) of all non-decent homes (predominantly homeowners)

The report reveals that 2.6 million homes in England - 11% of England’s total housing stock - are categorised as ‘poor quality’ and hazardous to occupants.

BRE was able to quantify the cost of poor housing to the NHS by combining data from the 2018 English Housing Survey (EHS) on health and safety hazards in the home, with the latest NHS treatment cost figures.

The report recommends that further research is undertaken to inform a full 30 year cost-benefit analysis of the impact of improving poor housing in England.