Specialist Health Visitors working with families experiencing homelessness have created the Medact / QNI Homeless Health Programme petition ‘Healthy Housing is a Human Right’ asking for an immediate Government inquiry into the plight of homeless families currently in temporary accommodation and automatic health and education rights for children.

This call is supported by many other agencies including iHV, Pathway, Shared Health Foundation, LNNM, RCN and CPHVA.

Will you join us in calling for the Government to:

  • Conduct an immediate Government Inquiry into the plight of families experiencing homelessness in temporary accommodation
  • Guarantee that individuals and families who are destitute are always placed in accommodation, no matter their immigration status
  • Ensure children who are experiencing homelessness are given automatic health and education rights
  • Provide priority access to NHS services for children experiencing homelessness, ensuring that a lack of ability to provide address ID is never a barrier to services
  • Increase the number of specialist Health Visitors and School Nurses to meet the needs of the increasing number of families experiencing homelessness
  • Recognise homelessness as an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE)

Please could you support this campaign by signing the petition here.

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) comments on today’s publication of Bleak Houses: Tackling the crisis of family homelessness in England by the Children’s Commissioner.

iHV is saddened to learn that 124,000 children are now classed as homeless with some children needing to be housed in shipping containers. The councils blame this on a shortfall in their income of £159 million.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, said:

“Whilst this sounds like a lot of money for the government to find, the actual costs of short, medium and longer term negative consequences for these children and their families on the fiscal purse will be very much more, including costs to the care, health, education, social security and criminal justice budgets.”


There are thousands of children in England who are living in homeless families, stuck in poor quality temporary accommodation, often with low prospects of finding something permanent. There are many others who are at risk of ending up homeless. This report shines a light on this homelessness crisis and shares the experiences of some of those children.




New NHS Alliance, in partnership with The King’s Fund and commissioned by National Housing Federation, have launched a set of three reports that together aim to support a more productive relationship between the housing and health sectors.

Together, the three reports focus on the economic case for housing-led health interventions and are intended for specific audiences:

  • Health professionals’ attitudes to evidence and the influence it has on decision making is intended to help the housing sector to better understand some of the complexities around how the health sector uses evidence to inform decisions.
  • Developing a business case for health – what does good look like? provides some pointers to help housing organisations to make and present a strong business case to their health partners.
  • The economics of housing and health is principally for health professionals – it makes an economic case for a range of ways in which housing organisations support the work of the health sector and impact on the nation’s health.

The reports are co-authored by Merron Simpson, chief executive of New NHS Alliance, David Buck, senior fellow in public health and health inequalities at The King’s Fund, and Shilpa Ross, senior researcher at The King’s Fund.

These documents were launched on Tuesday 20 September at the NHF conference on housing and health in Birmingham.