Table 2

Summary of housing improvement studies reporting cost data without economic evaluation (ordered by intervention type, study quality and date)

Author, date, locationStudy qualityStudy designIntervention costsCosts to recipientPotential for economic evaluationSummary of economic data and accompanying authors’ interpretation
Intervention: Warmth and energy efficiency improvements (post-1980)
Howden-Chapman et al, 2008, New Zealand16ARCTYesMean cost of intervention per house $(NZ)3000.
Platt et al, 2007, UK18AContr'd B&ANoIntervention group in receipt of improve heating were less likely to report difficulties to ‘manage financially’, than those who did not acquire heating (OR: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.60 to 0.99).
Heyman et al, 2011, UK47 56 57BRCTYes: SF-36 amenable to QALY calculationMean cost of intervention per house £727. Mean fuel expenditure (Int/Cont n=99/83) £596/£567, p=0.408. Change mean warmth satisfaction score (4 point scale) Int/Cont (n∼96/82) +1.18/+0.64
Lloyd et al, 2008, UK17BContr'd B&ANoHeating costs per week Before vs After (>4 years after intervention) (Int/Cont n=75/40) £35 vs £7 per week, no change in rent. Control group do not report any changes in housing costs (unclear how data were obtained).
Shortt et al, 2007, UK19 58 59BContr'd B&ANoFuel costs per annum Before vs After (Int n=54) £1113 vs £751.56. (Data refers to sub-group who received full intervention, no data for changes in control group).
Warm Front Study Group, 2006, UK21 48 60–63CContr'd B&AYesMaximum value of grant per house £2500. Following introduction of cavity wall and loft insulation space heating fuel consumption reduced by 10% in centrally heated properties and 17% in non-centrally heated properties. Gas central heating system did not change fuel consumption due to increased internal temperature.
Allen, 2005, UK22 49CUBAYesMean cost of intervention per house £4477 (range £799–£10 144), total cost of project £176 297. Total funding from various grants (mean award per eligible property): disabled facilities £66 173 (£5494); occupational therapy £1691 (£85); renovation grant £14 081; home repair grant £8811.
Allen, 2005, UK23CUBAYesMean cost of intervention per house £5800 (range £350 to £14 000). 
Eick et al, 2004, UK24CRCTNoChange in health costs in 3 months since intervention (n=16): GP visit −£136; GP home visit −£22.58; outpatient visit −£220; hospital admission −£5740; steroids −£5.70; antibiotics −£16.80; nebuliser −£1.23; absence from school due to asthma –£478.42; absence from school due to other reasons +£62.95Expenditure associated with the installation of MVHR system: cost of unit and installation £2500; annual maintenance by owner £150; annual running costs for occupant £35.
Caldwell et al, 2001, UK25CContr'd B&ANoChanges in annual energy costs since intervention (participant recall) in four intervention sites −£235.46/−£457.70/−£206.47/−£254.60. No change reported in control sites
Green et al, 1999, UK26 64CRCYesMean cost of intervention per house £28 000. Estimated heating bills Int/Cont £4.46 vs £9.04 (difference in fuel costs attributed largely to differences in fuel supplier tariffs rather than consumption); weekly rent Int/Cont £29.64/£19.63
Intervention: Rehousing/retrofitting ± neighbourhood renewal (post 1995)
Thomson et al, 2007, UK27AContr'd B&ANoRent data presented for 33 (Int/Cont 18/15) participants. Mean rent per week at baseline Int/Cont £32.24/£31.00. Mean change in rent per week Int/Cont +£6.65/+£1.31. Some residents reported increased fuel cost (Int/Cont 14/5) actual cost data not presented.
Critchley et al, 2004, UK29AContr'd B&ANoOver 12-year period Liverpool Housing Action Trust invested £260 m in housing renewal (this appears to be the total housing budget and does not refer specifically to this intervention). Estimated annual running costs Before vs After rehousing for: two person household £662 vs £347; single person's costs £610 vs £319. Percentage living in fuel poverty(excluding housing benefit), Before vs After intervention for- 1 person households 86% vs 14%; 2 person households 48% vs 8%.
Thomas et al, 2005, UK28 65BContr'd B&AYesTotal cost of renewal project (Single Regeneration Budget) £2 million over study period. Costs do not relate necessarily to study sample and not specifically to housing, project included range of non-housing investment improvements.
Blackman et al, 2001, UK30 66CUBAYesMean cost of renewal project per house £8000. Total cost of housing renewal programme £5.5 million. Costs do not relate necessarily to study sample and not specifically to housing, project included some environmental improvements and road safety improvements.
Ambrose, 2000, UK31 32 67CUBANoBefore vs 2 years After intervention. Mean weekly housing costs: rent (n=105 households) £52 vs £72; water (n=60) £0.92 vs £4.38; gas (n=92) £5.54 vs £6.46; electricity (n=98) £4.62 vs £5.77. Before vs 3 years after intervention (n=19 households): mean weekly housing costs: rent £60.33 vs £79.30; water £3.50 vs £5.06; gas (n=9) £8.28 vs £6.15; electricity (n=6) £4.76 vs £3.33. (cost data collected retrospectively, not all participants reporting cost data also reported health data)
Walker and Bradshaw, 1999 UK33CXCBANoInvestment of £8.6 million by local authority in repair of homes and renovation of property. Percentage change in general practice prescribing costs per 1000 patients after intervention (1994–1998). Intervention practice A/Intervention practice B/Control practices (n=7): gastrointestinal +12.33%/+25.8%/+12.92%; cardiovascular +31.27%/+37.56%/+27.01%; respiratory +46.92%/+82.87%/+43.57+; central nervous system +79.22%/+73.7%/+79.7%; hypnotic +67.58%/+15.99%/+93.33%; anxiolytic −74.12%/−12.29%/−6.51%; antidepressant +109.51%/+86.27%/+120.77%; analgesic +26.92%/+26.59%/+42.66%; anti-infective +12.96%/−22.19%/−26.26%.
Woodin et al, 1996, UK34CRNoTotal cost of renewal project £97 million, figure includes more than study sample.
Halpern, 1995, UK35CXUBAYesMean cost of intervention per house (full refurbishment) £10 000–£15 000.
Intervention: Provision of basic housing needs/low or middle income country
Cattaneo et al, 2006, Mexico36BRCYesMean cost of intervention per house=$(US)150.
Aga Khan Health Service, 2001, Pakistan38BRCNoAnnual spending (rupees) on health care after intervention (Int/Cont n=50/99) 0 rupees=14%/16%; 1–999 rupees 18%/18%; 1000–5999 rupees 26%/39%; >5999 rupees 26%/16%; don't know 16%/10%. Estimated that insulation has resulted in up to 50% reduction in wood consumption by a typical family, reducing cost and time spent collecting and buying firewood.
Aiga et al, 2002, Phillipines37 68CRNoMean monthly household expenditure on water (Pesos) Int/Cont 109/234. Intervention cost not available. Mean household income (Pesos) after intervention Int/Cont 8032/4530. Increased household income attributed to increase in time available to earn (as a result of improved water supply). Estimated that increased income of 5740 Pesos in control group if they received improved water supply.
Wolff et al, 2001, Malawi39CUBAYesMean cost of building a new ‘habitat’ house, $ (US) 550.
Intervention: Rehousing from slums (pre-1965)
McGonigle et al, 1936 UK41BContr'd B&ANoMean weekly rent Before vs After Int 4s.8d/9s.0d. Cont 4s.7¾d/4s.10¾d (s=shilling, d=pence, 1 shilling=5 pence). Rent as a % of income subdivided by employed or unemployed status (Int/Cont n=28/27 families). Int Employed/unemployed 20.5%/31.3%; Cont Employed/unemployed 14.7%/20.8% (Int/Cont n=35/30 families) Before vs After Int/Cont rent as % of income 20.5%/14.7% vs 31.3%/20.8%.
Chapin, 1938, USA40CUBANoMean cost of intervention per house $(US) 7791 total cost of project $3 623 000 for 465 houses. Before vs After intervention, mean unit rental $(US) 15.68 vs 17.98, mean room rental $(US)3.21 vs 3.79.
  • *Study design: RCT, randomised controlled trial; Contr'd B&A, controlled before & after; UBA, uncontrolled before & after; XCBA, controlled before & after using area level cross sectional data at both time points; XUBA, uncontrolled before & after using area level cross sectional data at both time points; RC, retrospective controlled study; R, retrospective uncontrolled.

  • QALY, quality adjusted life year.