Housing and health unite to improve the wellbeing of Welsh communities



A new agreement between Community Housing Cymru and Public Health Wales has committed the organisations to working more closely together to improve the lives and health of people in the most deprived communities in Wales.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed on 19 November 2015 will ensure that the organisations work together to identify common problems and develop joint solutions.

The memorandum is a commitment to a joint focus on prevention and early intervention, to ensuring work is informed by the best national and international evidence and to taking action to empower communities to improve health and wellbeing.

The commitment will also enable the establishment of a joint Health and Housing Public Health Task Group including key representatives from health, housing, community and social care.

Tracey Cooper, Chief Executive of Public Health Wales, said: “This memorandum marks the start of an exciting and purposeful partnership between Public Health Wales and Community Housing Cymru.

“Our homes are at the heart of our communities and our daily lives, and we know that the quality of housing is closely linked with health and wellbeing. By sharing resources and working together towards combined goals with Community Housing Cymru, we can make a real and meaningful difference to the lives of people across Wales.”

Stuart Ropke, Group Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru, said: “CHC’s Memorandum of Understanding with Public Health Wales signifies a commitment to partnership working and solidifies the housing sector’s continuing aspirations to work with the health sector to improve the lives of people in Wales.

“One of our key objectives is the recruitment of a joint Health and Housing Policy Officer. This post will focus on taking forward joint initiatives and facilitating joint working between the two organisations. We’ve called for a series of integrated health and housing projects to reduce pressure on the Welsh NHS in our manifesto for next year’s National Assembly for Wales elections, and this MoU will pave the way for the implementation of these projects.”

Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Lesley Griffiths, said: “Good quality housing can change lives. It can have a huge impact on people’s health and wellbeing, their ability to gain and sustain jobs, and children’s educational attainment.

“For this reason, I am very pleased Community Housing Cymru and Public Health Wales have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. I look forward to seeing the benefits this collaboration will bring to people across Wales.”

The memorandum was signed by Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru, Stuart Ropke, and Chief Executive of Public Health Wales, Dr Tracey Cooper at CHC’s Annual Conference on 19 November 2015.