Decent Homes Standard- will the review make a difference?

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30 September, 2021

The Charter for Social Housing Residents: Social Housing White Paper was published on 17 November 2020 announcing a review of the Decent Homes Standard. Part 1 of the review of the definition is to conclude in Autumn 2021; if it is found that a change should be implemented, Part 2 will run from Autumn 2021 to Summer 2022. The Government has advised that a refreshed Decent Home Standard is likely to be the outcome.

The current criteria for a decent home can be found in the guidance "A decent home: definition and guidance" and can be summarised as follows:

  1. it meets the current statutory minimum housing
  2. it is in a reasonably state of repair
  3. it has reasonably modern facilities and services
  4. it provides a reasonable degree of thermal comfort

A report by the Good Home Inquiry has revealed that four million homes in England do not meet the required standard. It has been suggested that Homes England should be tasked with working to improve the standard of existing homes. One way of doing this would be to create a national model to be used to assess the conditions of all homes in England, regardless of ownership, to identify improvements to be made.

There has been a lot of interest surrounding the topic recently, particularly given the ITV series of examples of poor conditions in social housing. The report has identified around 12% of the sub-standard homes to be owned by councils and housing associations.

"A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: "It is unacceptable for people to live in unsafe accommodation and that is why we have announced major reforms to support tenants, including our Charter for Social Housing Residents, that will provide greater redress for residents, better regulation and better-quality homes"

If you have an interest in the review, please email DecentHomesReview@communities.gov.uk to register to receive papers and submit evidence and comments in writing.

For more information contact Zayna Ibrahim in our Housing & Regeneration department via email or phone on 0333 207 1130. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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