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We are deeply saddened to announce the death of David Ormandy. David was a founder member in 2015 of the Academic-Practitioner Partnership for Healthier Housing (APPHH) now known as the Healthier Housing Partnership. This was a continuation of a remarkable life's work and personal commitment to understanding the relationship between housing and health and to assessing and securing healthy homes for all.


Professional Life

Having worked in public health in local authorities, David specialised in housing conditions and practised as an expert witness in cases dealing with housing conditions. Some of these cases remain the seminal authority on statutory nuisance, particularly in the case of premises. Examples of David's groundbreaking cases include:

  • Pizzey and Simmons ([1977] UKHL J0512-2) on what is a household in the context of HMO law (the house was a refuge where a Direction on the number of occupiers had been made - even Lord Hailsham was sympathetic but the law unhelpful!)

  • Cases such as Nottingham City Council and Newton ([1974] 1WLR 923) and Salford and McNally ([1976] AC 379) demonstrated that dwellings prejudicial to health were a statutory nuisance and that s.99 of the Public Health Act 1936 (now  s.82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990) could be used by occupiers when landlords and local authorities failed to act - it was the only route where the local authority is the landlord although the criminal burden of proof is required.

  • In Quick v Taff Ely BC [1986] QB 809, the Court of Appeal held that under the repairing obligation in the Landlord and Tenant Act a landlord was not liable for the damage caused by condensation arising from this design defect.

  • R v Cardiff City Council Ex p. Cross [1982] 81 LGR 105, QBD; (1982) 6 HLR 6,CA. which held that the it is not possible for a local authority to enforce provisions relating to housing conditions against itself.


David was a founder and director of the Public Health Advisory Service (a project funded by Shelter) and joined Warwick Law School full-time in 1996 after working with Roger Burridge on studies into housing standards. He was subsequently based in Warwick Medical School, Division of Health Sciences.

With Professor Roger Burridge, David organised the Warwick series of (un)Healthy Housing conferences - Unhealthy Housing: A diagnosis (1986), Unhealthy Housing: Prevention and remedies (1987), and Unhealthy Housing: The Public Health response (1991); Healthy Housing: promoting good health (2003) and the 5th Warwick Healthy Housing Conference (2008).

From 1992 to 1998, he was involved in studies for the UK government into controls on minimum standards in housing and the health impact of housing conditions. A major achievement was the project to develop the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), which was adopted as the statutory method for assessing housing conditions in England and Wales in 2006. David also developed training courses for local authority officers on the use of the HHSRS. David was responsible to the UK government for projects to produce an Approved Code of Practice for Management Standards in Multi-Occupied Buildings, and for the production of Housing Disrepair Legal Obligations: Good Practice Guide.

In 2010, the US Department for Housing and Urban Development adopted the HHSRS (unchanged, other than being renamed the Healthy Homes Rating System, HHRS), and required its use by all housing related projects awarded grants by HUD. David was commissioned by HUD to train potential users of the US HHRS. He was a member of the Scientific Committee of the US National Center for Health Housing. Adviser to Wayne State University, Detroit, on a study into the application of the US HHRS in three US States.

In 2012, he was an advisor to the Building Research Establishment (BRE) on a project to develop a methodology to compare the one-off cost of mitigating housing hazards with the estimated annual cost saving to the health sector in England - The Real Cost of Poor Housing. He was also an advisor to BRE on the production of a Guide and an Assessment Protocol on Overheating in Dwellings published in 2015.

Work for the World Health Organization between 2000 and 2010 included membership of the Task Force on Health and Housing which monitored and advised on the LARES project (a study of housing conditions and health in eight European countries - see Housing and Health in Europe (2009) Routledge); he was responsible for start-up work to develop Housing-Health Indicators; participated in work on development of Environmental Health Indicators; was seconded to WHO ECEH (Bonn) for three months in 2006 to review and develop their strategy on health and housing; contributed to projects on policy briefs to reduce children's unintentional injuries (part of the work on Children's Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe), developing health relevant climate change indicators, and indoor air quality.

David contributed to work on the development of a Healthy Housing Index carried out by the Housing and Health Research Programme at University of Otago, New Zealand, and was appointed by the NZ government to the Assessment Panel for the National Science Challenge on Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities.

He recently collaborated with Dr Véronique Ezratty MD (Medical Studies Department, EDF, France), on studies into Health, Energy, and Energy Precariousness in France and England, in particular, the cost to French society attributable to energy inefficient dwellings and energy vulnerability.

David was a member of the World Health Organization Working Group developing Healthy Housing Guidelines and of the Working Group for the National Healthy Housing Standard, published in 2015 by the American Public Health Association and the National Center for Healthy Housing.

Personal Reflections


Zena Lynch,
Honorary Associate Professor, 
Dept. Environmental Health and Risk Management, 
School of GEES,
University of Birmingham

Chartered Fellow, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

'David had a huge impact on the housing through his groundbreaking work on the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System and brought depth and clarity to housing issues through his many publications.  My first personal contact with him was when he came to the Local Authority I was working at in my early career, to train us all on the new rating system. I remember the clear insight he brought with the new approach and still have the original training pack he put together, which has stood the test of time.  His work bringing together the huge evidence base relating to  housing and health, as part of the HHSRS operating guidance was an immense task and has been inestimable in terms of the huge support it has given to officers in the field of housing enforcement.  I am very glad to have been able to work with him more closely through involvement with the Healthier Housing Partnership. He has been a driving force in housing and will be sadly missed by us all.'


Professor David Ormandy

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