news from BRE

published: 11/9/2012

BRE launches Housing Health Cost Calculator

Tool measures NHS health cost savings achieved through mitigating hazards in the home.

BRE has launched a unique new tool which measures the impact of poor housing on the health of homeowners.

The Housing Health Cost Calculator (HHCC) has been developed in partnership with environmental health specialists RHE to provide local authorities with the information they need to drive up public health standards and reduce costs. It demonstrates the relationship between health and hazards in the home, measuring the cost savings to the NHS and wider society gained through the implementation of home improvement strategies.

The interactive tool enables free calculation of Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) scores. It provides a valuable resource for public health professionals and housing associations who can use it to measure their contribution towards improving the health of their tenants.

“Following Dr. Steve Battersby’s report for government,[1] we set about developing a tool to enable easy collection of data,” explained Viv Mason, principal consultant in BRE’s Housing and Energy Group.

“The calculator will use your information to automatically produce an HHSRS score – this is a hazard rating derived by assessing the effect of dwelling defects on occupiers and is used to enforce minimum housing standards under Housing Act 2004. The tool will also store your data and allow you to retrieve it at any time, free of charge.”

A number of local authorities have already used the methodology to carry out retrospective health cost benefit analyses of hazards mitigated by their intervention, including Bristol, Derby, Liverpool, Plymouth, Great Yarmouth and 4NW (Northwest Region).

To view the tool and register free of charge, visit www.housinghealthcosts.org 

Notes for editors

BRE’s Housing and Energy Group works alongside central and local government and other housing stock managers to assess the condition and performance of their housing and determine the most efficient and cost effective repair, maintenance and improvement strategies. The group has been closely involved in undertaking national housing surveys for over 40 years.

[1] Are private sector tenants being adequately protected - a study of the Housing Act 2004, Housing Health and Safety Rating System and Local Authority Interventions in England report by Dr Stephen Battersby for Alison Seabeck MP, Shadow Housing Minister & Karen Buck MP, Shadow Work and Pensions Minister, June 2011

For more information, contact Keri Jordan at BRE on 01923 664322; email jordank@bre.co.uk