Councils have a key role to play in building good quality social homes, and in enforcing strong standards. In addition, local authorities must be empowered to provide access to the right infrastructure, through the planning system, to allow people to live healthy lives.
- Poor quality housing can have a detrimental impact on both physical and mental health and wellbeing. It can be the cause of many preventable diseases and injuries, including serious respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.
- Councils understand how the quality of housing affects the health and wellbeing of their residents. The NHS spends at least £2.5 billion a year treating people with illnesses directly linked to living in cold, damp and dangerous conditions.i
- Our ageing population means that older people make up a growing part of our housing market. But there is a chronic under-supply of desirable, affordable “age-friendly” homes. These are homes with sufficient space, and the ability for life-changing adaptations to be made.
- Many households either do not want to own their home, or cannot afford to. However, there is a shortage of good quality, affordable rented accommodation. This often forces people to live in ill-suited houses in the private rented sector.
- Councils have a key role to play in building good quality social homes, and in enforcing strong standards. In addition, local authorities must be empowered to provide access to the right infrastructure, through the planning system, to allow people to live healthy lives.
- We welcome recent measures to improve housing standards, including through legislation and enhanced fines for bad landlords. It is also vital that councils are given the financial powers to provide much-needed social housing, including the ability to replace all homes sold under Right to Buy.
- Councils are providing temporary housing for over 82,000 homeless households, including over 123,000 children. The cost of homelessness experienced by single people to the NHS and social care is high, and a range of indicators demonstrate that homeless people suffer worse health than others.
- Local services face an overall funding gap of £3.1 billion in 2019/20, which we estimate will rise to £8 billion by 2024/25. It is vital that the Government uses the 2019 Spending Review to deliver truly sustainable funding for local government.