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Topics relating to housing

The links between poverty, inadequate or unsuitable housing and ill-health are well-established.  Herefordshire faces a range of challenges associated with housing affordability and the costs associated with maintaining and insulating an aged housing stock with relatively large numbers of properties without mains services.

Key points:

In 2011, there were 78,300 households in Herefordshire, 25,400 in Hereford city, 17,800 in the market towns and 35,200 in rural areas.

Herefordshire has a slightly higher proportion of lone pensioner households, 14 per cent compared to the West Midlands (13 per cent) and England and Wales (12 per cent).

Herefordshire has a higher proportion of households who own their home outright and a lower proportion who own their home with a mortgage, compared with England and Wales. It has a slightly lower proportion that privately rent their home from a landlord or letting agency and a lower proportion that are in social rented accommodation, compared with nationally.

As of May 2015, there were 83,400 residential properties registered for council tax in Herefordshire; of which 39 per cent were in the lowest value bands A and B and 26 per cent were in the highest value bands E to H.  This compares with 44 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively, for England.  There is great variation in the distribution of banding between urban and rural areas.

The majority (40%) of dwellings in Herefordshire are detached, a much higher proportion that the national average (25%) and the regional average (25%).  In addition, the majority (28%) of dwellings in Herefordshire were built before 1919, a much higher proportion than for England (11%) and the West Midlands (9%).[1]

The housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) is a risk-based evaluation tool to help local authorities identify and protect against potential risks and hazards to health and safety from any deficiencies identified in dwellings.[2] It was introduced under the Housing Act 2004 and applies to residential properties in England and Wales. 

A recent housing stock modelling exercise undertaken by BRE on behalf of Herefordshire Council found 19,358 dwellings in the private sector have 'category 1' HHSRS hazards. This equates to 27% of properties. 3,813 dwellings in the private rented sector have category 1 HHSRS hazards. This equates to 25% of properties in the private rented sector. The highest concentrations of all HHSRS hazards in the private sector are found in the wards of Birch, Castle and Golden Valley North.

Comparing Herefordshire to the English Housing Survey (EHS) England average figures for the private sector stock Herefordshire again has significantly higher levels of all hazards and excess cold. Herefordshire has slightly higher levels for all the other indicators.[1]

Compared with the regional average, the private stock again has higher rates of all hazards (27% compared to 14%) and excess cold (19% compared to 3%), similar levels of the other indicators and slightly lower levels of low income households (19% compared to 20%).[1]

If you have an enquiry regarding housing, please use the link to Herefordshire Council's housing department in the 'useful links' box opposite.[1]  Integrated Dwelling Level Housing Stock Modelling and Database for Herefordshire Council, BRE, 2019.

[2] Housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) guidance, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2006.