Third of RSL homes do not meet decent standard

17 Oct 02
Up to one-third of homes owned by registered social landlords need to be improved to meet the decent homes standard, according to two new studies by the Housing Corporation.

18 October 2002

Around 32% of the 217,222 homes owned by 17 of the largest housing associations currently fail the standard, says one survey.

It suggests that 70% of the unfit homes do not make the mark because of disrepair – one of four criteria a house must satisfy to achieve the standard. The others are fitness for habitation, modern facilities and thermal comfort.

But in some cases the RSLs were not sure whether a house was decent or not. 'Ambiguity, difficulty in gathering information, and the need for subjective judgements, led to wide variations in estimates,' says a report, published on October 9.

Just five RSLs provided cost information. This led the corporation to calculate that it would cost an average of £8,600 to bring each home up to standard by 2010 – the target date set by the government.

Four RSLs, two of which were from London, said they would need more than eight years to achieve the standard.

Meanwhile, a wider survey of RSLs completing regulatory returns revealed that at least 265,822 properties (27%) need to be improved.

Of homes transferred from councils following a stock transfer, 37% currently fail the standard, compared with 19% of other RSL homes.


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