Home Improvement: A Triple Dividend
Here are the three briefings Ageing Better has produced with the cross-party think tank Demos, supported by Dunhill Medical Trust, exploring the multiple benefits from improving the safety, heating and accessibility of homes.
- In the first report, 'Boosting the British economy' we're urging current and future governments to invest in these home improvement policies by outlining the economic benefits.
- The second report, 'Overcoming the Health and Care Polycrisis' explores the multiple benefits from improving the safety, heating and accessibility of homes.
- The third and final report, 'Getting Britain back on track to deliver Net Zero' reveals how a nationwide home improvement scheme could deliver significant environmental benefits at low cost by targeting households most in need.
Having focussed on the economic argument for investing in home improvements in the first briefing, the second briefing focusses on the health benefits of improving the quality of the nation’s housing. The third and final briefing argues for the environmental benefits of investing in home improvements.
We hope that the compelling argument of the three briefings will convince current and future governments to invest in these home improvement policies.
Key Insights from all reports
- The UK's economic growth has slowed considerably, putting pressure on living standards and making it difficult to fund high-quality public services. Boosting growth is crucial.
- Home improvement is a major opportunity to stimulate growth. The sector is worth £28-100bn annually. Studies show retrofitting homes for energy efficiency alone could create over 300,000 jobs by 2035.
- Home improvement boosts productivity and human capital by improving health, education, and well-being. It also reduces pressure on health services. The NHS spends £1.4bn annually treating issues caused by poor housing.
- The UK used to invest more in housing. Returning to higher investment could boost economic growth. Each £1 invested in home improvements in Scotland generated £2 in economic benefits.
- The UK's housing stock is the oldest and among the poorest quality and least energy efficient in Western Europe with some of the highest associated health and care costs.
- We need to accelerate the rate of carbon reduction in all buildings by a factor of two or three, and investing in homes can help do this.
- Investing in home improvement could save the NHS around £1bn a year – enough money to train 20,000 nurses.
- Adopting our proposed home improvement policies would bring £5.9bn in health benefits and help 3.1 million people every year.
- Our proposals focus on those homes most in need of improvement but have capacity to be scaled-up to meet demand or when greater government resources can be made available.