Homes for well being

Homes for wellbeing

The Housing Board works with partners to ensure homes and services support better health and wellbeing for all our residents. Housing availability, affordability, design, management, use and maintenance have a major impact on health and wellbeing. Decent homes support resident health by reducing cold damp homes and avoiding  overcrowding; also by making sure the home enables a person to live the best life possible for example being suitable for a wheelchair and avoiding slips, trips and falls within the home.

Integrated strategy

In December 2022 the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Health and Wellbeing and Integrated Care Strategy was published. You can find it using this link.

The Strategy includes a priority to reduce poverty through better employment, skills and housing. To do this, the strategy works to:

  • Reduce relative poverty, for example the proportion of children living in relative poverty.
  • Deliver improved quality and availability of housing that meets health and wellbeing needs, for example increasing the supply of affordable housing for key workers and the proportion of local people in safe and secure accommodation.
  • Achieve improved employment opportunities and outcomes, for example through better jobs and employability skills provision.

The strategy is supported by an action plan, which provides more detail on how this work will happen, in co-operation with a range of partners. The action plan was agreed by the Housing Board and by the Health and Wellbeing Board. The housing actions agreed  for 2023/24 are:

  • Deliverable 1: Establish a delivery vehicle / group for years 2023/25
  • Deliverable 2: Deliver new homes to meet health and wellbeing need:
    • Increase the supply of more affordable housing including addressing needs of key workers across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
    • Ensure the design and layout of new homes enable people, especially children, to live with personal privacy and be able to play, learn and rest.
    • Increase the number of homes which provide for specialist housing need.
    • Increase the availability of assistive technology in new homes & communities.
  • Deliverable 3: Improve quality of housing to enable health and wellbeing resilience:
    • Increase the identification and improvement of homes in poor condition across all tenures, especially for vulnerable groups such as children with asthma.
    • Reduce housing related delayed transfers of care.
    • Increase thermal comfort in homes, reducing excess winter and summer deaths.
    • Improve quality of houses of multiple occupation.
  • Deliverable 4: Increase the proportion of residents in safe and secure housing:
    • Increase prevention of homelessness by increasing early referrals by all partners into homelessness prevention teams.
    • Improve access to health and wider services for those that are homeless, especially rough sleepers.
  • Deliverable 5: Support mental health at home (for new and existing homes):
    • Increase the supply of homes suitable for the ageing population including dementia-friendly homes.
    • Support people out of hoarding, improving their life chances and reducing risk of death due to fire and other risks for them, their neighbours and their visitors.

The local picture

What data do we have and use to analyse the links between homes and well being across our housing market area?

  • ICS housing needs survey – link – published xxx (not yet) by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough ICB/ICS
  • Older peoples profiles – link – published in 2023 by Cambridgeshire County Council
  • Diamond Housing Affordability Analysis 2023 – link – published July 2023 by The Housing Board for Cambridgeshire, Peterborough & West Suffolk
  • Housing needs of specific groups – link – published by G.L Hearn, 2020 to 2040
  • Older people’s housing, care and support needs in Greater Cambridge 2017-2036 is available to download here. The Housing for Older People Supply Recommendations tool is available using this link HOPSR-tool. Upon opening the file, please ‘enable macros’ and select one of the four options in the boxes.
  • Savill’s key worker housing needs analysis for CUH (Addenbrooke’s) – link – published xxx by …
  • Joint strategic needs assessments

Older data

  • Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment – link – published 2016 by ORS
  • Fuel Poverty atlas here
  • Age of housing across our area to help identify solid walls, which in turn can affect the thermal efficiency of the home. This open data story starts to set out the available data.


The duty to refer

Many public agencies now have a legal duty to refer someone who is homeless, or may become homeless, to a homelessness team. This is call the the Duty to Refer. We are creating notes on the duty, to help partners in local referring agencies find a quick link to each housing team who accept the referrals.

Our first note focuses on partners in the main local hospitals: How to get help if someone preparing to leave hospital is homeless.

Build standards

There are government standards for new build housing, around room sizes and about how visitable, accessible and  adaptable homes are. Please visit this page about build standards, to find our guide to these topics which link to residents’ well being, in that we all need enough space to thrive in; and some of us have a need for different build layouts for a variety of reasons, including wheelchair use.

Housing for health website

The Housing for Health website provides easily digestible information about housing with insights into ways new health-housing partnerships might help achieve the necessary transformation in health.

It was prepared by NHS Alliance following interviews with General Practitioners, Clinical Commissioners, Practice Managers and other community health professionals. It is aimed at strategic leads in general practice, primary care and clinical commissioning and provides

  • Information about the housing system and how it is organised.
  • Insights into roles housing organisations are adopting within local health economies to improve patient care, reduce demand on the NHS and prevent people from needing expensive healthcare – and why they are doing this.
  • Specific examples of health-housing partnerships that are emerging.
  • Advice on how to build relationships with local housing partners.

It aims to help strategic health leaders understand and engage with housing organisations and to develop important partnerships with other organisations operating beyond NHS boundaries as we all take steps to create a wider ‘community of care’ in response to the NHS Five Year Forward View.

Housing and health at the Learning and Improvement Network

The Housing LIN has pulled out the essential tools and resources to help you can make informed decisions around health and housing, and work towards better integration. The site cover a wide range of topics and include good practice, case studies and discussion areas about the links between housing and health. The housing and health – health intel pages are a great place to start.


Health and Wellbeing Boards

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Health and Wellbeing Boards and networks bring together leaders from local organisations that have a strong influence on health and well being, including the commissioning of health, social care and public health services.

Primary Care Networks

Primary Care Networks, or PCNs for short, are groups of general practices working together with a range of local providers.

PCNs were introduced as part of the NHS’ Long Term Plan, published in 2019. PCNs came into being in July 2019. They were created to provide patients with proactive, coordinated care, with a strong focus on prevention and personalised care.

You can find a list of local PCNs here (as at Feb 2021) covering the GP practices and pharmacies in each network; a map here and some FAQs here.

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire is part of the national Healthwatch network.

This network helps people have their say on local health and social care services by linking them to the organisations buying and providing care. Healthwatch collects people’s stories and experiences of using local health and social care services – and shares that information – pointing out the good and helping to improve care where it is needed.

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire is asking housing providers (for example, housing associations) to help – to make sure as many people as possible across the county know how to have their say on health and social care issues which matter to them.

Care & Repair England

Care & Repair England is a small, national charitable organisation set up in 1986 to improve the homes and living conditions of older people. It believes that all older people should be able to live in a decent home of their own choosing.

Every home improvement agency provides a range of services depending on the needs of the local community. Services can include the following:

  • Providing a list of reliable local builders and contractors.
  • Visiting you at home to give advice about any problems you have with the condition of your home.
  • Setting out your housing options and helping you decide which is best for you.
  • Helping you obtain other local support services.
  • Checking whether you are entitled to any financial help (for example, disability benefits, or money to help you repair or adapt your home).
  • Helping with any work you decide to have carried out on your home. For example, drawing up plans, getting estimates and liaising with others involved in the work, such as council grants officers and occupational therapists.
  • Additional services such as a handyperson services, to carry out small jobs around your home, help with gardening, or coming home from hospital.
  • Helping to make your home more energy-efficient.

The first visit and advice is free. Most home improvement agencies charge a fee if you decide to go ahead with any work using their assistance, which can normally be included with any grant you are eligible for. It is your decision whether you want the home improvement agency to help, and any costs will be discussed and agreed with you first.


Foundations is the national body for home improvement agency and handyperson services. Their website includes a useful directory of services across England.

Local home improvement agencies

You can find out about local home improvement agencies by visiting our Housing Guide, here.