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Health, care and support partnerships

In summary

Our health is determined by where we live and how we live. The quality of our housing is a significant determinant of our health and wellbeing: safe, warm homes help keep us well and independent for as long as possible. For example, we know that there are 39% fewer hospital admissions for cardiorespiratory conditions and injuries amongst people with upgraded houses. However, Wales has some of the oldest and least thermally efficient housing stock in the UK and Europe. 32% of the Welsh housing stock was built before 1919.

An extensive body of evidence shows the critical importance that good housing has on health and well-being and its impact across the life-course. Poor housing is associated with poor physical and mental health and causes, or contributes to, many preventable diseases and injuries including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and cancer. As well as the unfair and preventable personal cost, poor housing costs the public purse. Poor housing costs the NHS in Wales £95 million a year in treatment costs.

By working with our partners in health, local government, and social care, we can increase the positive impact that good housing can have on the nation’s health and well-being. Housing associations are members of Regional Partnership Boards, the bodies responsible for meeting the care and support needs of people in their area. As well as being providers of housing and care and support services, housing associations are organisations rooted in communities and have knowledge and insights that can help our partners reach communities and ensure services deliver the best possible outcomes.

How we develop this area of work

Housing associations want to play their full part in providing homes and communities that support the nation’s health and well-being. Our work on health and housing is focussed on supporting our members to develop the strong partnerships needed between health, care and housing, focussed on supporting people to live as healthy and independently as possible at home and in the community.

To develop our policy work on health and housing we work with relevant member communities, including with Chief Executives and Chairs/ Vice-Chairs of housing associations. We also provide a regular space for housing association representatives of Regional Partnership Boards to come together and share experiences.

We work in partnership with health bodies to build understanding of the contribution that good housing makes to health, including the Welsh NHS Confederation and Public Health Wales, and the Welsh NHS Confederation Health and Wellbeing Alliance. We also work alongside academics in Cardiff University and USW to identify gaps in current research and ensure decision-making is informed by the latest evidence.

Key publications and resources:

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