Multiple long-term conditions

Testing the impact of home ownership on long-term health conditions

3 September 2021
3 min read

We are backing a new scheme to test the health benefits of affordable home ownership for people at risk of developing long-term health conditions. 

We are backing a new scheme to test the health benefits of affordable home ownership for people at risk of developing long-term health conditions.  

Affordable homes that are in good condition and secure can be the safe and stable foundation for people to build their lives in. In contrast, overcrowded, insecure and poor-quality homes can greatly increase people’s risk of developing mental and physical health conditions. 

We see this in our place in south London. In Lambeth, the neighbourhoods with the highest levels of overcrowding and the lowest housing affordability also have the highest mental health needs. For instance, in Loughborough Road, Brixton and Peckham.  

We know that stable tenancies can protect people from developing long-term health conditions, and the most stable housing arrangement is home ownership. However, it is increasingly inaccessible to people living on low incomes in London.  

Accessible home ownership as a health intervention 

Community Land Trusts are membership bodies democratically controlled by their members that own land in trust. This means that they can provide housing at extremely affordable rates with a policy of allocating housing that seeks to address inequalities in ownership.  

One important way of managing this is by aligning property prices to local wages. By ensuring that members who purchase properties on the sites sign up to the principles of affordability when they sell on, they lock in affordability and local allocation. This keeps people in the neighbourhoods in which they have made their lives.  

London Community Land Trust aims to build affordable homes in our boroughs. Our funding will allow them to develop a health and wellbeing strategy for their housing projects. It will also support leadership development of their members and expand their policy and influencing work.

The homes will be built on two sites in Herne Hill and Peckham. These are neighbourhoods with low levels of home ownership, but high socio-economic deprivation. Each development will be led by a Community Steering Group. These are local people given the power to make decisions about what is built in their neighbourhoods. 

The lessons learnt through this partnership will help other community-led housing approaches, property developers and urban planners to find better ways to ensure  that their housing projects are designed with consideration for the health of their residents.  

To find out more about our work on housing as a social determinant of health, sign up for our newsletter.