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Regulating the Private Rented Sector: Evidence into Practice (2022)


“It will particularly benefit students and practitioners coming into and back into the profession, as well as councillors, lead members and non-EHP senior management, to provide an understanding of the complexities of the PRS policy and the regulatory framework … We felt this to be a concise book, which will be an extremely useful asset to any private sector housing library, and a useful reference to anyone seeking a greater understanding of current issues at play within the PRS.”

CIEH Housing Advisory Panel (2023) By the Book, Environmental Health News, June 2023, pp. 19

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Environmental Health and Housing: issues for public health  (2018)

The second edition of Environmental Health and Housing has been completely updated to cover the contemporary issues in public health that have emerged in recent years. With a theory and practice approach to public health this edition focuses more on population health; health protection and improvement; and inter-agency approaches to effective intervention in housing and health through evidence based practice. It provides the ideal introduction to the area. It provides a renewed focus on research into evidence based housing and health issues, which have become subject of growing international interest in recent years. It includes more case studies, ideas for reflective practice, and a greater emphasis on wider living environments and new legislation. Essential reading for students studying health and housing topics, environmental health practitioners and associated professions, including social workers, health visitors and building surveyors who need to understand the complexities of housing enforcement, policy and legislation and the relationships between housing and health.


“The book is an easy read, but retains academic robustness. It covers a wide housing- and health-related subject matter. It is a great source of reference material and provides some good strategic and historical oversight. The authors have had a challenging task, given the need to balance having sufficient content with not repeating other reference sources … Case studies bring a reality to the hard work and innovative practice taking place, and illustrate the art of the profession, which is the ability to be able to assess cause and effect and ensure resources are channelled in the direction of reducing the impact of cause … It highlights for me how important it is to maintain the profile and share good practice at every opportunity. I am sure that many colleagues will read the book and shout out loud, ‘We do that,’ but the difficulty comes with finding the time to provide evidence that can be scrutinised and to capture your work.”

Dave Arkle, Environmental Health News, June 2018

“Using an intersectoral lens, the publication reinforces the importance of an interagency approach that includes health protection and other social, municipal and health professions. Case studies are also incorporated, as well as a review of regulations and legislation that impact housing-related issues in the United Kingdom. This book can be useful to students and both emerging and mature professionals to inform public interventions on housing and health.”

National Collaborating Centre on the Determinants of Health – see Housing as a Focus for public health on equity

“(This new book) .. demonstrates the contribution that environmental health practitioners can make to improving public health and address some of the issues on which Julie Rugg provides more evidence. Environmental Health and Housing is an update on the previous work of this title and is a useful introduction to the topic, looking at policy and strategy in housing, housing and inequality, housing inclusion and the public health agenda. It provides a renewed focus on research into evidence-based housing and health issues, which have become subjects of growing international interest in recent years. Importantly, this edition includes more case studies and submissions from practitioners highlighting what can be done. It also includes, a greater emphasis on wider living environments – as it is not only the condition of a property that impacts health including mental health, but also the setting, that is the local environment.”

Dr Stephen Battersby OBE, with kind permission from RIAMS Communities, September 2018 

“(This book) gives a good potted history and its analysis of housing contribution to health and well being is thorough, well presented and comprehensive.

The book paints a picture of housing as a home, and what it should not be, arguing that it is much wider than the house, such as surroundings, access to the services in the area, schools, security and personal circumstances … A question is posed early on – Is a house a market asset or primary determinant of health? …

Throughout the book there is commentary about the government proposals or consultations on technical and policy issues, as well as comment on potential improvements in policy and standards. …. It also identifies a wide range of resources at nearly every turn of the page.  … Excellent case studies … detail examples of how local authorities use innovative methods of improving housing standards … (and) bring the subject to life.

Jill Stewart and Zena Lynch have produced an outstanding contribution to the environmental health profession”.

Tim Deveaux, Perspectives in Public Health, March 2019

“An essential book for environmental health students and professionals (a virtual one-stop shop for so much of the broad field they must understand and practise) and a useful one for many others in the housing sector including local councillors.  I recommend it to anyone interested in housing law and policy and the many social issues raised by our highly dysfunctional housing market”.

Municipal Dreams, April 2019 (for full review click here

“Environmental Health and Housing: Issues for Public Health presents a holistic view of the relationship between housing and public health. The authors draw on an extensive range of research illustrating the cost of poor housing and the life-course impact of housing on health. They clearly advocate for more emphasis to be placed on building homes that make people feel a sense of belonging, regardless of the type of house or housing tenure …  The authors remind us of the imbalance between the demand for housing and its supply … This book also extensively discusses the growth of the private rented sector and its contribution to 21st century housing and health related issues including fuel poverty and homelessness … The authors critically analyse the historical and current policies in the UK developed to tackle these and other complex challenges in the housing and health nexus … The book clearly articulates the measures and metrics used to assess quality and safety of housing and in doing so provides an important contribution to efforts to provide credible evidence to inform policy and practice in housing provision and management …It is clearly written, accessible and informative and provides a good balance between academic rigour and relevance to practice”

Janet Oluwabunmi Ige, Housing Studies, June 2019

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Pioneers in Public Health: lessons from history (2017)

The public health movement involved numerous individuals who made the case for change and put new practices into place. However despite a growing interest in how we understand history to inform current evidence-based practice, there is no book focusing on our progressive pioneers in public health and environmental health. This book seeks to fill that gap. It examines carefully selected public and environmental health pioneers who made a real difference to the UK’s health, some with international influence. Many of these pioneers were criticised in their life-times, yet they had the strength of character to know what they were doing was fundamentally right and persevered, often against many odds. This book will help readers place pioneers in a wider context and to make more sense of their academic and practitioner work today; how evidence (and what was historically understood by it) underpins modern day practice; and how these visionary pioneers developed their ideas into practice, some not fully appreciated until after their own deaths. Pioneers in Public Health sets the tone for a renewed focus on research into evidence-based public and environmental health, which has become subject of growing international interest in recent years.


“The authors … to this readable book were asked to write about a pioneer for whom they had great regard, with an overall theme of examining how history informs current evidence-based policy …  The (book provides) … insight into the profound effects on beliefs and actions that arise from the era, values and attitudes into which we are born … Stewart’s conclusion to these inspiring accounts is that the battles for public health resonates with our contemporary activities and that some supposedly ‘old fashioned’ views ‘are more progressive, radical and forward thinking than those held by many who are in a position to do something about public health today’. This is a great book not only for students and new professionals but also for environmental health and public health practitioners. It will be invaluable for teaching … This book will convince you of this view and may help to develop the next generation of reformers and policy makers.”

Rosalind Stanwell-Smith in Perspectives in Public Health, September 2018,  138 (5) pp. 287


Stuart Spear, Environmental Health News, May 2017

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Housing and Hope: the influence of the interwar years in England (2016) (eBook)

The aftermath of the First World War in England from 1918 was a time of major social and political change and new thinking about how we might live; it was about far more than just Homes for Heroes. Despite strenuous efforts by many pushing forward new ideas, thousands continued to endure dreadful housing conditions, with little hope that anything would ever change. Government sporadically intervened and new movements promoted progress.
Focusing on this period in history and where it was leading, this eBook considers the role of the sanitary inspectors in tackling poor housing, the development of suburbia and the radical new approach proposed by the modernists.  It draws from historic journals, literature, biography and film in its interactive and innovative approach to encourage a wider appreciating of what poor – and good – housing really means for people.
Lavishly illustrated with the author’s own photographs, this new publication shows how housing really can hold the key to a better life and that with decent housing, there comes hope.


“… She begins her story in 1918, when sanitary inspectors were thrust onto the front line of a national campaign to create ‘homes for heroes’ promised by prime minister David Lloyd George … As the book shows, politicians were motivated by a fear of ‘British Bolshevism’ as much as altruism. The two decades between the war were incredibly eventful … (and) … In those days politicians were proud to attach their names to ambitious and optimistic housing legislation designed to benefit society – Addison, Chamberlain, Greenwood. How times have changed.
Stewart’s curiosity and passion for her subject shine through in this book, which brings her topic alive through personal stories and using her own striking photographs.
Digital publication, including e-books like this with well chosen links, and the growing use of open source data could make this a golden age for evidence-based practice. All credit then to Stewart, who is a pioneer of using modern technology to expand the environmental health knowledge base.”

William Hatchett, Editor, Environmental Health News, October 2016.

“This is an excellent short eBook that explores the important role of housing in people’s lives and their wellbeing following WW1. Although underpinned by a weight of academic research, it is written in an accessible and engaging way and has much to offer anyone interested in social history and public health. The author makes good use of new technology to present a book that is both interactive and enjoyable to read. Well recommended.”

Jimgri63 5* Review (iTunes Preview, September 2016)

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The Stuff of Life: Public Health in Edwardian Britain (2012)

This Stuff of Life gives us a vivid and rarely seen view of Edwardian Britain, away from the lives of the rich. It shows how ordinary people lived, the food that they ate and the dangerous places where they worked, and describes how an unsung public health official, the sanitary inspector, fought a daily battle against, filth, exploitation and infectious disease. Illustrated, fully-referenced and with a useful bibliography, it is ideal both for the student or the general reader with an interest in history or health.

Review by David Kidney (then) Head of Policy, CIEH, 2012 (reproduced with permission)

Will Hatchett … assembled a team of writers who are knowledgeable, passionate about their subject and rattling good story-tellers. So there are chapters by Will himself and also Dave Clapham, Ava Greenwell, Stuart Spear and Jill and Jim Stewart…

How did Edwardian society respond to the environmental and public health challenges of its day, and how did its environmental health profession – the sanitary inspectors – perform?

Then, people would look on a map of the world with a third of its land mass coloured pink representing the British Empire and feel pride. Yet when writers and scientists, including social scientists like Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree, laid before those same people a picture of want and injustice at home in Britain, there was no apparent mass demand to marshal the immense resources of that great Empire to tackle the problem…

The book time and again highlights a prevailing attitude of Edwardian society that a distinction may be drawn between the deserving and undeserving poor. When you read this book, you cannot but wonder if there are parallels with our response to today’s economic crises. The recent publication of the latest British Attitudes Survey shows increasing hostility towards immigration and the current system of welfare benefits…

I say: read Will’s book for a valuable insight as to where we have come from and the challenges we have helped overcome. Note the challenges that remain, alongside new challenges that have since arisen (like climate change and the need for sustainable development), and the inbuilt obstacles we must always battle to overcome.

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Housing, Health, Safety and Wellbeing (2013)

This Occasional Paper seeks to provide an overview of housing, health, safety and wellbeing focusing mainly in England. It is the first of EHRNet’s Occasional Papers seeking to provide a readable background to the housing aspects of environmental health and it is hoped will be of interest to use to a wide audience, not just those working or studying housing or health.

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Effective Strategies and Interventions: environmental health and the private housing sector (2013)

Effective interventions in environmental health and housing work necessitate a range of methods and approaches to research and understand social and economic issues, how the complexities of peoples’ changing lives are represented in their housing and communities and the involvement of others in their housing, health and social care needs. Developing an evidence base and its application in practice can help deliver available resource to where it is most needed in addressing the complex needs of some of the most vulnerable members of society.


“This publication is a great example of how to encourage research and disseminate practice in a way that raises the profile of environmental health and can inform policy making…”

Environmental Health News Editorial (2013)

“This publication, authored by Dr Jill Stewart at the University of Greenwich, draws together a range of methods and good practice in adding to the environmental health and housing evidence base. It showcases examples of innovative environmental health practices, including partnership working to demonstrate the fundamental importance of re-focusing on housing as a social determinant of health and the potential for improved health outcomes and impacts.”

Review by Housing Learning and Improvement Network (2014)

“It draws together practical examples founded on a range of evidence sources from those working at strategic and practitioner level in the private housing sector in demonstrating how early, proactive interventions are successful on both economic and social fronts in supporting the case for additional resource for these fundamental front line services.”

Review by NICE (2014)

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Professional Practice in Public Health (2007)

With increasing numbers training and practicing public health across a range of organisations, and policy continuing to drive the public health agenda forward, the need for expertise is greater than ever. Professional Practice in Public Health will provide students and practitioners with a comprehensive and contemporary overview of public health. It is written by respected academics and practitioners drawing from their wide range of experiences in environmental and public health. The book emphasises the importance of reflective practice in developing and administering increasingly relevant policy and strategy. Each chapter takes account of the framework of competencies required by the UK Public Health Voluntary Register and aims to help students and practitioners work toward these requirements. The book s main market will be Masters students but the accessible style means that undergraduate students, students on Foundation Degree courses and practitioners will also find this book a useful learning resource. This book provides an interactive approach that includes case studies, activities and reflection points so that readers are encouraged to engage with the theory, practice, knowledge and skills. Overall the book seeks to help raise the professional stakes in delivering effective public health interventions to tackle health inequalities where they are at their most acute.


“… Refreshingly bold stance … well considered, skilfully edited and lucid …  many students, and practitioners, will be energised by this book and encouraged to try to make a difference”

William Hatchett, Editor of Environmental Health News, 2010

“Clear and concise – a well-referenced text which integrates theory and practice in a meaningful way.”

Lecturer, Glasgow Caledonian University

“Excellent book. Very current and well set out. Good activity exercises and case studies.”

Lecturer, West Nottinghamshire College

“A comprehensive and wide-ranging book that is useful for all public health practitioners.”

Lecturer, Oxford Brookes University

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Environmental Health as Public Health (2003)


“Very good book as I am currently studying Public Health, it’s simple to read.”

Amazon 5* review (November 2015)

“I’m doing the Professional Practice Portfolio (PPP) hybrid and I recently found this book … what a corker it is. It covers all the aspects as required for the PPP as regards Public Health related to all areas of Environmental Health. Essential reading, not to mention I saw my Uni tutor the other day … using it for … lecture notes! … Wish I had commission for this!, just a student trying to help others…”

Chris Eley (then) Student Environmental Health Practitioner, reproduced with permission (CIEH, 2012)

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Environmental Health and Housing (2001)

Environmental Health and Housing provides both students and professionals with comprehensive coverage of issues relating to both social and private housing. The book includes basic technical information for completing house surveys, detailed yet clear backgrounds to and explanations of applying relevant legislation, and discussion of current policy and strategy. All this is backed up with case studies and examples of how theory and law are put into practice in real situations. The minefield of overlapping legislation and legal issues are clearly presented as flow charts and tables. Unique in its coverage, clearly illustrated and covering such diverse topics as housing defects, caravan sites, asylum seekers and social exclusion, Environmental Health and Housing is an essential purchase for all students and professionals in the housing sector.


“… The author … gives a lucid historical overview of the well-recorded links between poor housing and ill health … her book … is a source of practical information for enforcement officers … This book will be an extremely useful reference tool for EHOs and housing officers.”

Housing, (2001)

“As a director of environmental health and housing I only wish that this fine reference source had been available to me when in local government. This … book … is good, not least because it deals so clearly with such complex and controversial issues as law and practice relating to housing, statutory fitness, overcrowding, caravan site licencing and the vexed area of multiple occupation … and energy conservation (is) also dealt with in a clear and concise manner as are the very topical issues of asylum seekers and homelessness … Jill Stewart … yet again demonstrates the importance of linking (poor housing to ill health) … Highly recommended for all students in the widest housing sector.”

Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health (2002)