The Health and Housing Forum, which is led by leading Midlands’ landlord whg in partnership with the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB), held its inaugural meeting this September.
The forum brings together the health and housing sectors to reduce health inequalities and ensure that people who live in social housing are able to access health services.
Research shows that people who live in social housing may die up to 10 years earlier than the general population and have a healthy life expectancy of just 56. The forum aims to tackle these health inequalities by exploring ways to best serve the needs of some of the most disadvantaged in society. It builds on the success of current health and housing partnership programmes which have been designed by whg and are currently delivered in Walsall.
Fay Shanahan, Corporate Director of Operations & IT at whg, said: “Creating the forum provides social housing with a direct link to health, ensuring that the voices and needs of our customers are heard when health services are discussed and priorities agreed.
“We’ve been working with our health partners for a number of years now and have created several programmes, funded by health, which are making a huge difference in tackling health inequalities in Walsall. These include our community champions, who use their lived experience and knowledge of the communities they live in to encourage and support local people into advice and local healthcare services.
“We’re delighted to be recognised as leaders in the health and housing space and to embed our partnership working model across the housing sector.”
Tapiwa Mtemachani, Director of Transformation and Partnership at the ICB, said: “We are really pleased to see the partnership between health and housing taking shape within the Black Country. The forum is a great opportunity for partners to share learning and look at innovative ways of improving outcomes for our Black Country population. The ICB remains committed to supporting the continued development of this partnership as part of the overall development of our Integrated Care Partnership.”
Led by whg, the Health and Housing Forum also includes Green Square Accord, Bromford, CHADD, Nehemiah Housing, Black Country Housing, Wolverhampton Homes, Wolverhampton City Council, Sandwell Council and Dudley Council.