Policy Press

Home Sweet Home?

The impact of poor housing on health

By Alex Marsh, David Gordon, Christina Pantazis and Pauline Heslop


Oct 14, 1999

Page count

100 pages




297 x 210 mm


Policy Press
Home Sweet Home?

How much does the condition of our housing affect our health? This timely new study looks in detail at the impact poor housing has on health, using data from the National Child Development Study (NCDS). It provides important information to inform the current debate on Our Healthier Nation and to strengthen arguments for health, housing and social care agencies to work together.

It focuses on three main areas:

if, and when, housing deprivation impacts on overall health;

the link between overcrowding and respiratory and infectious disease;

housing deprivation and health in the context of other possible influences on health.

The study uses the innovative approach of creating indices for both the severity of ill-health and housing deprivation. These indices are incorporated into an analysis of the impact over time of housing deprivation upon health. The authors conclude that housing plays a significant role in health outcomes and hence provides support for the argument that addressing housing deprivation should be central to thinking about health improvement.

Home Sweet Home? is essential reading for researchers and students in housing, public health, urban renewal, and social policy as well as professionals working in these areas.

"... an extremely thorough study." BMJ

"The book adds to the current literature on health and housing, and will be a useful text to policy makers in the field." The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

"The contribution these research findings make to the housing and health debate cannot be emphasised too strongly ..The report and its findings should be essential reading for all those working in the arena of housing and health." Health Matters

"This is a clearly written, careful and well-argued study ... a useful addition to the contemporary literature on housing and health." Health & Social Care in the Community

Contents: Introduction; What do we know about the influence of housing on health?; Measuring health: the construction of the health measures used in this study; Linking overcrowding with infectious and respiratory disease; The impact of timing and duration of housing deprivation on health; A longitudinal analysis of the impact of housing upon health; Implications.

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