Housing condition is known to have a major impact on health particularly around issues such as damp, disrepair & poor energy efficiency. The Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010 shows that on the indoor living environment sub domain (housing quality) almost half (48%) of the city’s Lower Super Output Areas are in the bottom 20% nationally with a quarter in the bottom 10%.
3 of every 10 of the city’s homes (around 37,000 properties) are considered to be non-decent with 99.9% of this being in the private sector. 42.5% of all vulnerable households in the private sector living in non-decent homes. Additionally, empty homes in the city are a waste of valuable resources, and a blight in local communities, attracting crime and anti-social behaviour.
Many households in the city have difficulty in paying for fuel to keep warm during the winter months. Fuel poverty has been shown to have significant adverse impacts. In particular, inadequately heated homes can lead to or worsen cardio-respiratory conditions resulting in increased winter deaths among older people. Cold homes have also been implicated in under-achievement by children. According to the latest official figures, fuel poverty (based on the new low income, high cost definition) is estimated to affect more than 14,000 households (11.9% against a South East average of 8.1%).
 Lower Super Output Areas: small areas of around 1,500 residents / 650 households