An innovative project coordinated by HACT aims to put monetary values on the health benefits to tenants of housing association work has released its first findings.
Affinity Sutton, HACT and SImetrica have previously deployed the wellbeing valuation approach to create the Social Value Bank, the largest robust and consistent set of monetary values for social outcomes. In the earlier work, the analysis controlled for the effects of health, calculating values that represented the direct effect of outcomes (such as gaining employment) on people’s wellbeing. However, many outcomes might also improve people’s wellbeing indirectly, by improving their health, which in turn improves their subjective wellbeing.
This research examines seven key outcomes that are pertinent to housing associations’ community investment activity and finds that they all have a significant impact on people’s health. A monetary value has been placed on these impacts, and those values have been added to the existing ones for the direct impact on wellbeing. The Social Value Bank will be updated in light of these new values, which capture an additional route by which outcomes deliver improved wellbeing.
The values also act more generally to indicate that outcomes like gaining employment, improving finances, or volunteering could have measureable impacts on health. Not only will these indications be important for housing associations, keen to understand the impact that they have, but also for those more directly engaged with health, who will be interested in pursuing this line of investigationfurther, to test these hypotheses using methods that will generate evidence that meets the needs of their sectors.
Consequently, it is hoped that as well as producing values that are immediately useful in the housing sector, the research will also act to stimulate interest across a range of sectors that share at their core an objective of helping people to live happier, healthier lives. Its monetised values can also provide an opening point to conversations, giving people from different sectors a common language to start discussing the findings.