Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

July 27, 2017

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Half a million social homes “not meeting basic H&S standards”

More than half a million social homes in England fail to meet basic health and safety standards, an analysis of official government data by The Independent has revealed.

Data shows that 525,000 social homes currently do not meet the national Decent Homes Standard – almost one in seven of all social homes in England, the paper says.

The statistics come from the government-commissioned English Housing Survey which shows that:

• In the social rented sector overcrowding increased to 7% in 2015-16
• In 2015-16 93% of local authority renters and 95% of households in housing association properties had at least one working smoke alarm – although 28% of social renters never tested them.
• In 2015 only 28% of social rented dwellings had a carbon monoxide alarm.
• According to the Independent, 244,000 properties are deemed to have a category one safety hazard – the highest category of risk — which includes potentially fatal hazards such as exposed wiring, overloaded electricity sockets, dangerous boilers, leaking roofs, vermin infestations or inadequate security.

The Independent’s analysis says that this means more than a million people are likely to be living in social homes that fail the Government’s own minimum benchmark for human habitation.

Everyone, no matter where they live, deserves to have somewhere safe, decent and affordable to call home. – Shelter

Anne Baxendale, director of campaigns and policy at Shelter, said: “Shelter’s own research has shown that three out of 10 households living in social housing are not happy with the condition of their home, and although standards are gradually improving, progress seems to have stalled.

“Sadly, too many tenants’ complaints are not dealt with quickly, efficiently, or sometimes even at all.

“Everyone, no matter where they live, deserves to have somewhere safe, decent and affordable to call home. Despite less funding, it’s essential that councils and housing associations listen to tenants’ concerns and are committed to ensuring no one is forced to tolerate an unsafe home.”

A DCLG spokesman said: “The health and safety of those living in social housing is paramount – that’s why social landlords are obliged by law to maintain their properties to a good standard. Government action has seen the number of homes failing to meet the Decent Homes Standard continue to fall with 24 per cent less non-decent homes than last year, and more than a million sub-standard properties brought up to standard since 2010.

“But we know that more needs to be done to fix the broken housing market. Our Housing White Paper set out measures to do just that – building more homes and improving affordability.”


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6 years ago

Yet the councils who own these are exceptionally keen to make private landlords life difficult, including those trying to provide a good standard.