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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Prioritising our nation's health - what does it mean for housing policy?


With the cost of poor housing to the NHS estimated to be £1.4 billion, is it time to strengthen our connection with health and wellbeing? How could a shift in focus affect current housing policies? Ahead of our executive briefing next month, we caught up with speaker Brendan Sarsfield, chief executive of Family Mosaic, to find out why this is such an important topic.

Image of house made of blocksThere's a very important relationship between health and housing - so why aren't more people making this link? 

Housing is a bubble, and I believe that sometimes we're all guilty of not considering how it fits into a wider network. We think of housing as a 'standalone' and don't always spend time considering how it links to education, employment or the economy - we need to think about the wider connections so that we can potentially come up with some new answers to the questions we've been asking for years.

What could housing look like if we focused more on health when we set and addressed housing priorities?

I'm keen to explore this with attendees on the day, and discuss how we might do things differently if our focus was on health. For example, how might we design differently? Build differently? Let differently? There are so many possible changes we could make by pushing our focus onto homes that are fit for purpose, both now and in the future.

At the moment, health isn't at the top of our housing strategy - what I want to consider at the executive briefing is what could happen if it was. Changing what sits at the very tip of our strategy would lead us to a completely different set of actions and behaviours from the housing sector.

What can attendees to the executive briefing expect?

Delegates can expect a question-based session, designed to consider how a shift in our sector's focus could affect housing policy, strained health services and local and national strategies for house building. They'll be able to challenge their thinking about what their own organisation is trying to achieve, and also to learn how they can think more strategically about ensuring homes are built fit for purpose.

Get involved

Join Brendan at the briefing - which is free to CIH members - on 16 February in London. We'll be exploring:

  • the relationship between health and housing and the sector’s current focus on addressing health
  • what housing could look like if we focused on our nation’s health when setting and addressing housing priorities
  • the effect on national and local strategies for building new homes that are fit for purpose now and in the future
  • the difference that could be made to owner occupied housing and private rented housing – interventions, improvement and adaptations
  • the impact on social housing – types, standards and quality – and the effect on how we let to vulnerable people.

Find out more

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