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Multiple long-term conditions

Breaking the link between housing insecurity and ill-health

11 May 2021
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2 min read

We’re backing a new scheme to improve housing security for people living in urban areas with long-term health conditions.

Where you live has a huge role to play in your health. Far more than just bricks and mortar, secure and affordable homes can protect people’s health and wellbeing and reduce the likelihood of developing long-term health conditions.  

Precarious, insecure housing can increase people’s risk of developing a mental health condition, and overcrowded, unhealthy homes can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. 

We know that the most insecure tenancies and worst living conditions are found in London’s private rental sector, with a disproportionate number of Black people renting within it. The lack of social housing and the unaffordability of homeownership in London means more people than ever are renting privately, especially those living on low incomes.  

Investing in a social lettings agency

Whilst there have been some temporary protections for private renters put in place during the pandemic, these do not address the causes of rental instability or the health and wellbeing of renters.  

This is why we’ve set out to find interventions that can be made in London’s private rental sector, with the wellbeing of tenants at the forefront. 

Ethical Lettings is a social lettings agency that works on behalf of people on low incomes, finding and supporting good quality, stable homes. Our support will enable them to expand their services into Southwark, matching properties from private landlords with tenants living on low incomes who are at risk of developing long-term health conditions. Landlords will be guaranteed rent for two years without management fees, and tenants will be given enhanced support to ensure the long-term stability of the rental agreement. 

We know that the most insecure tenancies and worst living conditions are found in London’s private rental sector, with a disproportionate number of Black people renting within it.

With our funding, around 250 households will benefit from access to stable, secure and affordable homes over the next four years. 

Given the success of this model elsewhere, our intention is that the work becomes self-sustaining, helping many more people in our place in the future – and demonstrating that other ways of managing homes in the private rental sector can work for both tenants and landlords. 

If you’d like to talk to us about our work on housing as a social determinant of health, please contact Michael Parsons, who leads on this work in our multiple long-term conditions programme. To keep informed with our latest news and insights sign up for our newsletter.