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Durham University

Department of Sociology

Completed Projects

Health Improvement and Housing Action

A research project of the Department of Sociology.


Among the aims of the UK's National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal is to 'join up' services to tackle cross-cutting issues such as health inequalities. Housing interventions can contribute to improving health, although the evidence base is far from comprehensive, especially from a practitioner perspective.


To review the extent of evidence-based practice to improve health through housing action in Neighbourhood Renewal areas; to evaluate the adequacy of the evidence base, especially regarding economic evaluations; and to make recommendations.


The project includes reviewing the published and grey literatures on housing and health, including practice guides, and a sample of Local Neighbourhood Renewal Strategies and Housing Strategies. In addition, visits were made to six local authority areas receiving neighbourhood renewal funding to interview housing officers. During the interviews, respondents were invited to comment on a checklist that could be used to assess the impact of housing on health in a locality.


Findings are being written up as case studies for the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit�s new guidance on health improvement, which is also likely to include the housing and health assessment checklist. An article is in preparation which draws on the project�s findings to explore relationships between 'liveability' and health.