This profile looks at housing affordability in North Yorkshire, homelessness and the number of excess winter deaths.
Housing affordability affects where people live and work. It also impacts upon factors which influence health, including poverty, community cohesion, housing quality and commuting time. There is evidence of a direct association between unaffordable housing and poor mental health, over and above the effects of general financial hardship. Housing tenure may be an important factor in determining how people experience and respond to housing affordability problems.
Housing affordability data are not available at district level, only at county level. A ratio of lower quartile house price to lower quartile earnings is calculated for each district. Using lower quartile prices and earnings better estimates affordability of housing to lower wage earners and the lower the ratio, the more affordable the housing.
In 2016, 10% of households in North Yorkshire (26,576 households) were classified as fuel poor, below the national average (11%). Scarborough (12%) has the highest proportion of households classified as fuel poor. Merely tackling poverty would not necessarily relieve fuel poverty, as often housing type and access to affordable sources of energy are important. Tackling fuel poverty should in turn improve winter health, decreasing excess winter mortality and subsequently the pressure on the health and care system during the winter months.
Further information on the North Yorkshire Winter Health Strategy 2015-20 can be found at the North Yorkshire Partnership website.
In North Yorkshire, there is variability in excess winter mortality over time, mirroring the trend seen in both regionally and nationally. In 2016/17 the Excess Winter Mortality index increased from 12 to 26 in the county, higher the national average of 22; however, this is not statistically significant. All districts in the county have values that are statistically similar to England. While there is some variation across the county, the small numbers mean that these data must be interpreted with caution.
The rate of homeless households has decreased in North Yorkshire since 2011/12 and is currently 1.3 per 1,000 households. This is below the England (2.5 per 1,000) rates. Richmondshire (2.2 per 1,000 households) is the only district that has a rate of statutory homelessness that is not statistically significantly lower than the England rate.