NHS Health Scotland believes everyone should have a safe, secure and affordable home. That’s why today we are delighted to adopt Shelter Scotland’s Charter for Change as part of our commitment to recognising housing as a human right. The Charter is part of Shelter’s recently launched housing rights campaign ‘Are you with us?’.

As a key determinant of health, the right to an adequate standard of housing is inextricably linked with the right to the highest attainable standard of health. Housing has an important influence on health and wellbeing, and good quality, affordable housing has the potential to reduce health inequalities.

Matt Lowther, Head of Place and Equity, NHS Health Scotland said:

“A secure home is an important foundation to living a long, healthy life. Housing influences our start in life, opportunities in adulthood and independence as we age. By adopting the Charter for Change we’re making a commitment to work together to ensure that everyone has a safe, secure and affordable home.

“With partners, we’re striving to empower those whose home is a risk to their health so that they know and can defend their housing rights.  This is an important part of ensuring that people can protect and improve their health. It will also help to address health inequalities. 

“To do this, in the coming months, we’ll explore the impact of power on health, the role of trauma informed practices in the housing sector and how allocating social housing can promote health and wellbeing. We’re working nationally and locally through our housing and inclusion health programmes to influence public health policy to do this. 

“We must take every opportunity to work together for a Scotland where everyone has a place to feel safe, no one chooses between food and rent and no one faces sleeping rough. This is the kind of compassionate, humane and progressive approach the charter calls for, and we’re proud to sign up to it.”