Housing associations Catalyst, a subsidiary of the Peabody group, and Grand Union are excited to be forming a new partnership with council public health teams to create a blueprint for a new way of working between health and housing.

The approach is designed to help tackle health inequalities through partnership working to improve access to, and engagement with, health improvement services.

Catalyst and Grand Union are proud to be working with the shared Public Health service across Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes councils on this exciting and innovative new partnership which will benefit thousands of residents.

The links between health and housing are long established and well known, and housing is a significant determinant of health. Tackling health inequalities and preventing ill health is a focus for Public Health and this new partnership recognises that the social housing sector is a key stakeholder to help achieve these aims.

The partnership, which is currently being piloted, will focus on supporting residents in areas including stopping smoking, improving mental health, offering mini health MOTs and encouraging people to lead more active lives.

Kirsty Pepper, Peabody’s Managing Director (North Counties) said:

‘We’re excited to be getting our health and housing workstreams underway in partnership with our local Public Health team. With the creation of our new neighbourhood model, and our goal to deliver the highest quality services for our customers, this is the perfect time to be driving an approach that will improve the health, wellbeing and life chances for our customers. Tackling inequality and giving everyone the chance to have a healthy life is fundamental for the future of our communities.’

Vicky Head, Director of Public Health (Milton Keynes, Bedford Borough & Central Beds) said:

‘We are pleased to be working with Catalyst and Grand Union to embed this new way of working between public health and housing. We see this as an important opportunity to provide housing association residents with accessible and appropriate support for their physical and mental wellbeing. This has many wider benefits including increasing their financial wellbeing, confidence and job opportunities. As these pilots become established we look forward to sharing good practice and learning.’