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Last edited 24 May 2020
The full cost of poor housing in Wales
The full cost of poor housing in Wales was written by Simon Nicol and Helen Garrett and published by the BRE Trust in 2019. It is intended to help to promote health and wellbeing, and make the case for better quality housing.
The report is an update of the original ’Cost of Poor Housing in Wales’ analysis using the latest profiles of housing conditions across Wales and updating the methodology in line with the more recent The Full Cost of Poor Housing report to reflect improved understanding of poor housing impacts.
It summarises the results of research commissioned by the BRE Trust, Public Health Wales (PHW) and the Welsh Government to provide estimates of the cost of poor housing to the NHS in Wales. It uses 2017 Welsh Housing Conditions Survey (WHCS) data and the revised annual NHS treatment cost methodology.
The key findings are:
- In 2017, the total number of dwellings with any Category 1 hazard (poor homes) in Wales was estimated to be 238,000, 18% of the total housing stock.
- The most common Category 1 hazards were those relating to falls in the home and the consequences of living in cold housing.
- The cost to reduce the hazards in these homes to an acceptable level is estimated to be £2,455 per home - a total cost of £584 million for the whole stock.
- If remedial works were undertaken up-front to mitigate these Category 1 hazards, it is estimated there would be a benefit to the NHS of £95 million per year.
- Remedial works to mitigate Category 1 hazards would pay for themselves in reduced NHS costs within 6 years. The costs of improving cold homes are some of the most expensive, but also the most effective in reducing costs to the NHS.
- These costs represent first year treatment costs to the NHS alone, following an accident or illness related to housing. The annual cost to the NHS represents around 10% of the full economic cost to society of leaving people in unhealthy housing in Wales, which is estimated at £1bn per year.
- The payback to society if all remedial work could be undertaken ‘up-front’ would be around six months.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- A measure of net well-being that incorporates the effect of housing environmental impacts.
- BRE articles.
- Creating strong communities – measuring social sustainability in new housing development.
- Decent Homes for Ageing Well.
- Decent homes standard.
- Quantifying the health benefits of the Decent Homes programme FB 64.
- The cost-benefit to the NHS arising from preventative housing interventions (FB82).
- The cost of poor housing to the NHS.
- The full cost of poor housing.
- The Housing Stock of The United Kingdom.
- The real cost of poor housing.
- What's the condition of your housing stock?
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