Table 1

Evidence from controlled and uncontrolled intervention studies of specific health impacts of housing

Impact on outcomes measuredGeneral health or wellbeingSymptoms/illness and health service useRespiratoryMental healthMortalitySocial
Direction of effect: ⇑ improvements to health or reductions in illness; ⇔ no clear effect on health or illness indicators; ⇓ reductions in health or increases in illness. Strength of evidence: +++ strong association: evidence from prospective controlled studies with good levels of follow up; ++ moderate association: evidence from at least one prospective controlled studies; + weak association: evidence from uncontrolled studies.
Rehousing/refurbishment plus relocation from slum area or community regeneration
Unclear impact on measures of general health +Unclear impact on symptoms or illness episodes ++Conflicting findings from four studiesConsistent improvements in mental health ++Increased +Numbers of smokers reduced +
Unclear effects on health service use +Increased community involvement, social support, sense of belonging and feeling of safety. Reduced fear of crime and sense of isolation +
Increased rents led to reduced income to buy adequate diet +
Medical priority rehousing (MPR)
Improved objective measure and self-reported health +Unclear impact on health service use +Improvement in objective measure and self-reported mental health ++
Energy efficiency measures
Improved objective measure of health +Unclear impact on general symptoms +Reduction in respiratory symptoms +No significant difference in emotion and mental health +Less school time lost due to asthma, but not other symptoms +