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Poor housing is costing the NHS an estimated£2bn a year, a report said yesterday, reports the Times (p10). ...
Poor housing is costing the NHS an estimated £2bn a year, a report said yesterday, reports the Times (p10).

The money could be better spent on providing more decent homes to rent, said the Standing Conference on Public Health, a group of 37 health and housing organisations.

Accidents, illnesses and distress arising from cold, damp conditions impose this financial burden, the paper reports.

In its report, called Housing, Homelessness and Health, the conference said one in 13 homes was not fit to live in, amounting to 1.5m in total, nearly half of which are owner-occupied.

The report calls for more investment in urban renewal, tighter controls on the private rented sector and new policies to make the 800,000 empty properties available for rent.

It also proposes a hostel licensing system to be run by local authorities, and suggests consideration should be given to introducing home improvement loans paid through building societies but subsidised by central government, reports The Guardian (p5).

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