Pandemic highlights need for long term strategies to ensure safe, secure housing for all

A new Health Impact Assessment conducted by Public Health Wales highlights how the Coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated that having a safe, secure home is essential for our health, wellbeing and equity, and what needs to be done to ensure that this is the reality for most people.

Liz Green, Consultant in Public Health, Policy and International Health at Public Health Wales, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic, and measures to reduce transmission of the virus, has had many wide-ranging impacts on the population of Wales, and has led to many people spending more time in their homes, highlighting the importance of good quality, affordable and secure housing.

“The need for security in relation to having, and keeping, a home and being surrounded by a safe and consistent home environment, and its impact on both physical and mental health and well-being has long been recognised. During times of uncertainty, such as in the COVID-19 pandemic, a home can provide a secure and stable base for individuals and households in order to help them live and work through and ultimately recover from the pandemic and its effects.

“National welfare and housing support programmes have been introduced in response to the pandemic and include a wide range of measures to support home owners and tenants and prevent homelessness, but these are now ending.

“The evidence in this report can assist policy and decision-makers and wider third sector when considering the impact of the pandemic on housing and housing insecurity, so that potential inequalities and negative impacts can be reduced, and future opportunities for positive health and well-being maximised.”

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