Last updated: 2018-12-12 12:05:01
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1. Summary

Last updated: 12/12/18

2. Introduction

Good quality, appropriate housing and in places where people want to live has a positive influence on reducing deprivation and health inequalities by facilitating stable/secure family lives. This in turn helps to improve social, environmental, personal and economic well-being. Conversely, living in housing which is in poor condition, overcrowded or unsuitable will adversely affect the health and well-being of individuals and families.

A decent, safe, affordable home is an essential requirement for tackling health inequalities, reducing the burden on health and social care services and can increase the likelihood of employment.

It is estimated that the poor housing conditions costs the NHS at least £600 million per year.

Infographic taken from “Local wellbeing, local growth:

Why we need Health in All Policies”

Other JSNA topics this topic closely linked to:

Learning disabilities

Physical disabilities

Domestic violence


Looked after children

Alcohol misuse

Illicit drug use

Mental and Behavioural Disorders




Last updated: 12/12/18

3. Data and Intelligence


Figure 1: Number of households who approached the SBC Homelessness and Housing Solutions Service (2016/17-2017/18).

In 2017/18, the total number of households who approached the SBC Homelessness and Housing Solutions Service increased by more than 20% on the previous year.

In Stockton-on-Tees, approximately two-thirds of households placed in temporary emergency accommodation have self-identified as having a mental health issue.

In Stockton-on-Tees, 10% of people presenting as homeless cited domestic abuse as the reason.

A health needs audit was undertaken in 2016 with the aim of increasing the evidence available about the health needs of people who are homeless. The audit identified that around 64% of people accessing homelessness services have drug and/or alcohol problems. 

Appropriate and affordable housing

Stockton-on-Tees has:

  • 194,000 people living in 84,000 dwellings (SBC data);
  • A population that is projected to increase by 7% in 2030, then by a further 3% in 2039;
  • A population of over 65s, projected to increase by 42% in 2030;
  • An average House Price of £140,995 (ONS); compared to £230,000 nationally;
  • An average income of £26,445 (ONS); compared to £28,758 nationally;
  • An affordability ratio of 5.33 (ONS); this is lower than 87% of the other Local Authorities in England;
  • A projected household growth of 8,775 households (9,130 dwellings) over the period 2017-32;
  • 600 new homes required annually between 2017 and 2032; and
  • 240 new affordable homes required annually between 2017 and 2032.


Figure 2: Tenure across Stockton-on-Tees (Census, 2011):

Figure 3: Reasons for presentations to the Homelessness and Housing Solutions Service (2016/17 and 2017/18)

The above chart shows that there was an increase in 2017/18 of the number of people accessing the service for “Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)” support and “Affordability” support and reductions in people seeking housing advice and being asked to leave, however there was a 24% increase in the overall numbers of people approaching the service compared to 2016/17.

Private rented housing

It is estimated that one in three homes in the private rented sector are not a decent standard.

In Stockton-on-Tees, 7% of dwellings in the private rented sector are recorded as having Category 1 Housing Health and Safety Rating System hazard. 

Last updated: 12/12/18

4. Which population groups are at risk and why?


Older people

As people become older, factors such as decreasing mobility and illnesses relating to old age sometimes mean that their accommodation is no longer suitable without some support or adaptation.

Young people (18-25)

Young people are faced with a wide range of housing challenges in today’s society and there is evidence to suggest that they are three times more likely to experience rented housing and homelessness problems than other age groups.

Children’s Services have recently (from Jan 18) implemented an Edge of Care Service to help support families at risk of breakdown by using an interventions method to reduce breakdowns.  This service involves respite provision, intervention work with family and young person, to deliver strategies to keep the family together.  It is linked heavily with Family Group Conferencing and can be referred into by social workers, early help, YOT, etc.

People with an offending history

Reports suggest that two-thirds of prisoners need help to find accommodation when approaching a release date, or probation. As such, ex-offenders may find themselves homeless, or in temporary and unstable homes.

Domestic abuse

Being a victim of domestic abuse is one of the most common reasons for a homelessness application.

Broad range of vulnerable groups (mental health, drugs and alcohol, learning disabilities)

Whilst the causes of homelessness are complex, mental ill health is a major contributory factor.  Becoming homeless can worsen existing mental health conditions or cause mental illness to occur. Drug and alcohol misuse can also be both a cause and consequence of homelessness and a proportion of our most vulnerable residents may experience both drug and alcohol and mental ill health at the same time.

The Council is committed to supporting people with learning disabilities, autism or complex needs to live as independently as possible and to enable them to have the same rights as everyone else. As people with learning disabilities are living longer it’s vital that a range of accommodation options are available to provide places where their care and support can be delivered.

Hospital discharge

Discharge from hospital can put people at risk of homelessness, particularly where their existing housing no longer meets their needs following admission.


Refugees are at risk of becoming homeless due to Home Office policy.

Former members of the armed forces

It is estimated that the proportion of those sleeping rough who had served in the armed forces ranged from 3 to 6% (British Legion, 2014).

Modern day slavery, human trafficking and those with no recourse to public funds


It is estimated that victims of modern day slavery and human trafficking are a risk of being homeless, however, these numbers are significantly under reported both nationally and locally.

Looked after children

Between a quarter and a third of all people sleeping on the streets have spent time as children being ‘looked after’ by local authorities (Shelter, 2005)


Last updated: 12/12/18

5. Consultation and engagement

Last updated: 12/12/18

6. Strategic issues

Last updated: 12/12/18

7. Evidence base

Issue number

1 = highest priority





Homeless Link

Title incl. web link

Preventing Homelessness to Improve Health and Wellbeing



Evidence review into the  interventions that are effective in responding to health and wellbeing needs amongst households at risk of homelessness

2 & 3






Public Health England

Title incl. web link

Improving Health through the Home



Identified that the right home environment protects and improves health and wellbeing, and prevents physical and mental ill health, and that there are risks to an individual’s physical and mental health associated with living in:

  • a cold, damp, or otherwise hazardous home (an unhealthy home)
  • a home that doesn’t meet the household’s needs due to risks such as being overcrowded or inaccessible to a disabled or older person (an unsuitable home)
  • a home that does not provide a sense of safety and security including precarious living circumstances and/or homelessness (an unstable home)



Building Research Establishment (BRE)

Title incl. web link

Integrated Stock Modelling 2016 (internal SBC document)



The council commissioned BRE to produce housing stock models to help understand the condition of the private sector housing within their area (these are provided in a separate report). The housing stock model is based on data gathered from a number of sources (including the English Housing Survey (EHS)) and includes an assessment of dwelling hazards using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

Data from the housing stock model has then been used as a basis for this Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to better understand the effect of private sector housing hazards and intervention strategies on the health of residents in Stockton-on-Tees. Key findings indicate:

  • There are an estimated 3,955 category 1 hazards in Stockton-on-Tees private sector stock, of which 871 are within the privately rented sector.
  • The estimated total cost of mitigating all these hazards is £7.5 million with £2 million in the private rented sector.
  • It is estimated that poor housing conditions are responsible for over 177 harmful events requiring medical treatment every year.
  • The estimated cost to the NHS of treating accidents and ill-health caused by these hazards is £708,140 each year. If the wider costs to society are considered, the total costs are estimated to be £6.1 million.
  • If these hazards are mitigated then the total annual savings to society are estimated to be £6 million, including £653,840 of savings to the NHS.
  • Poor housing in Stockton-on-Tees is estimated to cost around 58 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).


Last updated: 12/12/18

8. What is being done and why?


Local Government Association Housing Advisors Programme

A consortium bid on behalf of Hartlepool BC, Redcar & Cleveland BC and Stockton-on-Tees BC (acting as the lead authority) was successful in securing funding from the LGA Housing Advisors Programme to support us to analyse our use of B&B accommodation, to explore other temporary accommodation models and to assist us in introducing more viable forms of accommodation provision.

DCLG trailblazer project ‘Key Steps’

The Key Step scheme (provided by the Thirteen housing group) provides holistic, targeted support for people who may be homeless or at risk of homelessness, aged between 18 to 34 years old.

The voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector

There are a number of VCSE organisations within Stockton-on-Tees who actively support and assist those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. 

Internal partnerships

The Housing Service works in close collaboration with colleagues across a range of internal service departments including for example Adult and Children’s Services (particularly in relation to safeguarding), Private Sector Housing (to both address the threat of homelessness and also to secure accommodation through the Landlord Accreditation Scheme) and the Benefits Service (to ensure we can maximise our tools to both prevent and address homelessness i.e. through the effective use of Back on Track and discretionary housing benefits).

Appropriate and affordable housing

Registered providers and compass choice based lettings

SBC works closely with Housing Providers to provide a range of Supported Housing options to meet the needs of our vulnerable residents. Also known as extra care or housing with care this provision can take a number of forms including Extra Care Housing and Sheltered Housing.

SBC work closely with our partners to assist households and individuals to sustain an independent lifestyle by connecting good quality homes to services including health, education, training and employment with a particular focus on providing support to those facing barriers and are less able to help themselves, such as care leavers and members of the armed forces.

The five local authorities in the Tees Valley have a shared common allocations policy. The five Tess Valley Local Authorities and registered providers, including Thirteen, North Star, Home Group and Coast and Country, work together to deliver the Compass Choice Based Lettings (CBL) service.

Private rented housing

Private sector landlords

SBC’s voluntary Landlord Accreditation Scheme recognises the positive contribution of the private rented sector and accredits those landlords who provide professionally managed, high quality rental accommodation. 

Targeted Action Areas and Selective Licensing

In order to support our local communities the Council is strengthening its approach to dealing with poor housing conditions and poor landlords in the Private Rented Sector. The Council is proposing to implement an area based, targeted intervention approach providing a visible, neighbourhood management presence.  There are areas of our borough with high concentrations of low value, terraced housing (specifically the central Stockton and the Victoria area within the Mandale and Victoria ward in Thornaby) which due to falling housing demand are seeing an increasing number of properties being purchased for the private rental market. 

Local Authorities have powers under the Housing Act 2004 to introduce selective licensing of privately rented homes in their area on the grounds of low housing demand and/or significant anti-social behaviour.  Against the backdrop highlighted above it is proposed to implement Selective Licensing schemes within central Stockton and the Victoria area within the Mandale and Victoria ward in Thornaby. This approach provides the Council with the ability to identify designated areas were a locally based team, working with partner agencies and the local community can implement a targeted approach to improving standards.


Last updated: 12/12/18

9. What needs are unmet?

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10. What needs to be done and why?

Last updated: 12/12/18

11. What additional needs assessment is required?

Undertake more consultation with stakeholders and customers to:

  •  further understand the issues contributing to a rise in the number of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness;
  • further understand the housing needs and aspirations of our key vulnerable groups; and
  • encourage tenants in the private rented sector to be more proactive in reporting housing condition issues to the council.
Last updated: 12/12/18

12. References


Last updated: 12/12/18

13. Key contact

Name: Beverley Bearne

Job title: Housing Solutions Team Leader

Organisation: SBC

Phone number: 01642 526074

Contributor/s: James O’Donnell (SBC)


Last updated: 12/12/18

e-mail: Beverley.Bearne@stockton.gov.uk