Securing Healthy Homes at the local level  

This resource is part of a collection called Campaign for Healthy Homes.

A guide for local government in England on adopting the Healthy Homes Principles

Healthy homes are essential for people to live healthy, happy lives. There is strong evidence showing how the quality of our homes and neighbourhoods affects our mental and physical health. However, around one in ten people in the UK (over 6 million) are living in poor quality homes.  

Local councils are at the sharp end of this debate, partly because they bear the increased costs that arise from the social care budgets of poor housing, and partly because they have the insight and will to drive lasting change to secure healthy lives. 

The TCPA has produced a technical guide which explains in detail why and how the Healthy Homes Principles can be applied in local policy and practice.  

The Healthy Homes Principles go beyond minimum building regulations which largely focus on preventing people from harm. They aim to provide a clear and attainable approach that can be adapted to fit local contexts. Through adopting strong policies, local authorities can bolster the construction of new homes which proactively promote healthier outcomes for everyone.    

We invite local authorities to adopt the Healthy Homes Principles as the first step on a journey to transform the lives of ordinary people, to build the foundations of a future with health and opportunity at its heart. 

The guide is mainly written for local authorities, but is also relevant to parish and town councils, as well as neighbourhood forums. It covers three areas: 

The guide outlines several ways to help secure high quality homes that will promote health and wellbeing. These include adopting the principles via: 

  • A council motion.  
  • The corporate plan.  
  • Local Plans and policies. 
  • Supplementary Planning Document.  
  • Design Code.  
  • Neighbourhood Plan. 
  • Permitted Development tools. 

The guide explores these approaches in more detail, along with good practice examples that have already been applied by local authorities. It includes contributions from the Building Research Establishment, the Health Foundation and the Royal College of Physicians. 

Carol Brayne, special adviser on population health at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) said: 

‘The built environment we live in can have a huge impact on our health which is why having a healthy home is so important. With more than 6 million people in the UK living in poor quality homes, this guidance could not come soon enough.

We hope that whoever forms the next government will put in place cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities. This will enable us to address the wider determinants that affect our health, including the built environment.

Download a free copy of the Securing Healthy Homes at the local level guide and a Councillors’ briefing about the guide from the links below.