Health and Housing Impact Network

Working together to improve health through better housing

Caucasian woman exercising on bars in park in London with a block of flats in the background

The impact of housing on health is widely documented. The network helps the built environment sector do more to address urban health inequalities, particularly in London. 

Future of London launched the Health and Housing Impact Network to enable practitioners from different professions to develop new ways to work together. The network is supported by Impact on Urban Health, which works to reduce health inequalities in cities.

Challenges such as Covid-19 and growing awareness of damp-related illness have highlighted stark health inequalities in London’s housing. The rising cost of living and related fuel poverty urgently require practitioners to address the interrelated issues of poor health and housing.

“Housing is a major factor shaping health and a significant contributor to health inequalities in London. A good quality, secure and affordable home is the foundation that everybody needs to lead a healthy life.”

Institute of Health Equity

We believe healthy placemaking should become the norm to reduce health inequalities. Effective collaboration between health and housing practitioners is key to achieving this.

In London, the lack of quality, security and affordability of housing exacerbate inequalities and creates a pressing need for action, according to an Institute of Health Equity evidence review.

How are practitioners and policy-makers tackling poor housing?

Maria Morgan is the founder of Kineara, which provides housing services to tenants in social and private rented housing in London. Michael Chang is a planning and public health expert at the UK government’s Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

Watch these two-minute videos to find out how they are working to improve health through better housing.

 

Why we need the Health and Housing Impact Network

From a health perspective, the NHS long-term plan stresses the importance of working in partnership with the built environment. The introduction of Integrated Care Systems further promotes the need for health professionals to work in a more holistic and place-based way.

Research by Future of London and Catherine Max Consulting identified ways for housing and health practitioners to increase their impact by working together. From the findings of a trial forum held in 2021, we know that many practitioners understand the need to work together but find this difficult in practice. Our findings reveal the need to:

  • build evidence of what works
  • make the case to do things differently
  • develop new and creative ways to work together
  • share challenges and develop joint solutions.

What the Health and Housing Impact Network does

The Health and Housing Impact Network (H&HIN) is a free forum, launched in February 2023 for people with an interest in improving health and reducing inequalities through housing in London.

Our network aims to enable impactful collaboration between those working on the highly interrelated fields of health and housing in London. We will look at housing in the context of places and neighbourhoods.

By working closely with existing networks in the field, the Health & Housing Impact Network seeks to focus on key topics where action is needed, providing members with:

  • a detailed understanding of how to achieve health outcomes through housing work and vice versa
  • increased knowledge and understanding of the latest best practice
  • a confidential space to discuss lessons learned
  • a structured space to develop ideas, connections, support, partnerships and models to have a demonstrable impact on day-to-day work.

Network activities to find real solutions

We run a mix of online and face-to-face events. H&HIN goes beyond networking and sharing ideas – we support participants to identify tangible ways to capitalise on opportunities and real solutions to their biggest challenges, helping to deliver these where appropriate.

Each year we take on a theme, chosen by our steering group. 2024’s theme is Housing, climate and health equity. Find out more.

Our theme for 2023 was Housing and Integrated care. Read our findings here.

Network events feature expert speakers as well as the chance to really focus on opportunities for collaboration through action-focused workshops.

We are also supported by a broader sounding board who provide input on our programme and help make our events lively and productive.

Join the mailing list to hear about events and network outputs here.

Supported by Impact on Urban Health

Logo for Impact on Urban Health. Plain black writing

Get involved with the network

Events

Join us on 9 July a field trip to Kings Crescent Estate in Hackney.

Coming soon: Write up of our topic launch on 11 June

Find out more about our 2024 theme here.

Network members

We are a welcoming, cross-sector network open to anyone who is interested in reducing health inequalities through housing. Participants include:

Local authorities (public health, social care and/or built environment and environmental teams)
NHS organisations and service providers
Private sector housebuilders
Housing associations (community engagement and operational teams)
Not-for-profit organisations (supporting people in a health, social care and/or housing context)

Join the mailing list

Subscribe to find out first about events and network outputs here.