Social media has been awash with praise for the financial and health benefits arising from a commissioned report at Sheffield University about the ‘warm homes Oldham’ scheme recently. Chronic-Oldham was always aware that the health benefits quoted came from people who had used the service making pre and post self-assessments of their own physical and mental health. No double blind study, no control group just people voicing their unqualified opinions and then having those opinions applied to the cost of medical intervention had their perceived health circumstances not changed. In no way can this be called an academic fact based report it is at best a data model based wholly upon assumptions. The report even states “it was not possible to directly assess impact of the project on health and social care costs”
We have never been overly enthusiastic about the ‘warm homes Oldham’ scheme because of the discriminate way it allocates funding according to area and circumstance dependent qualifying criteria. It instantaneously makes baseless assumptions based on postcode much in the same way it makes health assumptions regarding age. We quote: “You may be eligible for free* energy saving home improvements if you live in an area that is eligible or if you are in receipt of qualifying benefits. The level of grant funding you can access will depend on where you live, the type of house you live in and what potential energy efficiency improvements can be made.” The first year and first batch of 1,000 Warm Homes Oldham improvements was limited just to the Fitton Hill area so let’s not imply this is a scheme applied equally across the borough because just like the green dividend fund and others it is not.