Housing policy and poor-quality homes

England has a major problem with housing quality.  More than 4.3 million homes do not meet basic standards of decency.  The vast majority of these homes are in the private sector.  Poor quality housing can cause and exacerbate a range of mental and physical health problems, placing pressure on already stretched health and social care services.  This problem is exacerbated by the fact that older people are more likely to be living in poor quality housing.  Poor quality housing also undermines efforts to manage the impact of a changing climate, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard the comfort of residents.

This project was commissioned by Ageing Better and draws upon an extensive review of previous initiatives designed to address the problem of poor quality housing to generate a series of recommendations to support a coordinated response to improve the quality of housing, involving national and local government, other public bodies, voluntary and community sector agencies, and the private sector.  It is framed by three key questions.  First, what national, regional and local housing policies and programmes have been implemented in the past to address poor-quality housing, and which were successful and why?  Second, what policies would be most effective in addressing the poor-quality of our current housing stock, given political, economic and social considerations? Third, how much would it cost to implement a series of key interventions, who would have to pay, what would the impact be?

The study involves an extensive review of the evidence base relating to programmes and initiatives actioned over the last 40 years designed to tackle issues of housing quality and poor conditions.  These insights will be supplemented through a series of interviews with key stakeholders in the field, to support the development of proposals.

Authors: Dr Jenny Preece, Professor David Robinson, Professor Ken Gibb and Dr Gareth Young


Full research report:                           Executive summary:




Date: May 20, 2021 10:13 am

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