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Healthy Homes Project - (current project)

18th January 2018

Humber Wolds Rural Action is working across East Yorkshire in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council to join forces in a local effort to tackle the issue of residents with health conditions made worse by living in cold homes. 

Fuel poverty affects over 11,900 households in the county. This coupled with cold homes, was a contributing factor to the 4100 excess winter deaths in the winter of 2014/15, and some 108,000 children who are believed to live in fuel poor households across Yorkshire & the Humber, making them vulnerable to ill health. (2013 stats)

 ‘The Healthy Homes Project" is being led by Humber & Wolds Rural Action (HWRA) in East Yorkshire to address the root causes of cold homes and its effect on those living with health conditions.

The project is funded by the British Gas Energy Trust’s Healthy Homes Fund. The charity is co-ordinating a united effort with the local authority and voluntary & community sector groups, carers associations, health professionals and others to focus on improving winter health, energy efficiency and warming cold homes.

The table below shows the effects of living in cold homes:

Temperature

Effect

21°C (70°F)

Minimum recommended daytime temperature for rooms occupied during the day.

18°C (65°F)

Minimum recommended night time bedroom temperature. No health risks, though occupants may feel cold.

Under 16°C

May diminish resistance to respiratory diseases

9-12°C

May increase blood pressure and risk of ]#

 

`cardiovascular disease

5-8°C

Mean outdoor temperature threshold at which increased risk of death observed at population level

5°C

Poses a high risk of hypothermia

Susan Oliver, Delivery and Development Manager at HWRA, said: “By working together with other organisations across the public and charity sector, we can address such difficult issues as fuel poverty, emergency hospital visits, poor health and well-being, and at its most severe – excess winter deaths.

“Living in a cold home is not only detrimental to physical health, but it also affects emotional wellbeing, and can lead to loneliness or low confidence, or to mental health issues like depression.

“Through a range of services within the Healthy Homes Project, we will be able to face these challenges head-on and ensure that as many people as possible have a warm home and are well-cared for especially during the long, cold winter months.”

The project will support those most at risk who have existing health conditions exacerbated by living in cold homes. This will include those on benefits or low incomes, older people or people with long-term health conditions and families with young children.

It will support people who live in rural areas where houses are often off the mains gas grid, rely on expensive forms of fuel to heat their homes, are poorly-insulated and even cut off when bad weather strikes. A Crisis fund can enable us to help those who meet the Project criteria and who cannot afford to purchase Oil, LPG or coal to heat their homes in the winter months, through this fund. All they have to do is connect us.

Support and aid will be wide-ranging and tailored depending on individual needs. From experience of delivering this project we have now opted to provide each referral client with a budget of up to £8,000 which can be used to provide a warmer home. linked to a home visit to identify cold related issues. In addition we will provide basic energy-saving advice, signpost to debt and benefit advice, and apply for Warm Homes Discounts and register vulnerable individuals with the Priority Services Register where applicable. 

As part of the project, we use a Thermal Imaging Camera. This will take a thermal image of a client’s dwelling before and after any of the measures we can offer have been implemented to show if improvements in heat retention have been made. 

We are working across 71 villages in East Yorkshire. The Healthy Homes Project runs until the end of March 2018. Referrals to HWRA can be made at any time, by any one, for a residents with a health condition made worse by living in a cold home. Full details of the areas covered and the individual villages can be seen on this website at www.hwrcc.org.uk

For more information on the project and how it can help, please contact Peter Hirschfeld on 01652 637700 or 07539 477046 or email peter.hirschfeld@hwrcc.org.uk

Healthy Homes Project - (current project)
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