Decent Homes Standard
The Government introduced the decent homes standard in 2000 setting a 10 year target for improving the number of people living in decent homes.
The target is designed to improve quality of housing particularly in relation to vulnerable households. There are decent homes targets for both social housing and private sector housing.
In 2001 the Government found that nationally only 57% of vulnerable households living in the private sector lived in decent homes. The Government has set a target of increasing this to 70% by 2010.
What is a decent home?
A decent home is one that meets the following criteria;
1. It must meet the current statutory minimum standard for housing
2. It must be in a reasonable state of repair
3. It must have reasonably modern facilities and services
4. It must provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort
The current statutory minimum standard for housing is the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) which came into force on 6th April 2006.
To meet the requirements of the Decent Homes Standard a dwelling must be free of category one hazards under the HHSRS.
Reasonable state of repair.
Dwellings will not meet this criterion if either:
- One of more of the key building components are old and because of their condition, need replacing or major repair; or
- Two or more of the other building components are old and, because of their condition, need replacing or major repair.
Key building components are:
- External walls
- Roof structure and covering
- Windows / doors
- Central heating boilers
- Gas fires
- Storage heaters
Other building components include kitchens and bathrooms.
Reasonably modern facilities and services
The property will not meet this criterion if it lacks three or more of the following:
- A reasonably modern kitchen (20 years old or less)
- A kitchen with adequate space and layout
- A reasonably modern bathroom (30 years old or less)
- An appropriately located bathroom and WC
- Adequate insulation against external noise (where external noise is a problem)
- Adequate size and layout of common areas for blocks of flats
Reasonable degree of thermal comfort
This means a dwelling must have both effective insulation and efficient heating
How we are achieving the decent homes standard?
Stockton Borough Council is working to achieve the decent homes standard in the private sector through various means.
- identifying non-decent properties through stock condition surveys and the older housing study
- using informal action and enforcement to ensure minimum housing standards are met
- sign-posting people to relevant services such as energy advice
- a targeted demolition programme
- a targeted grants policy to help the most vulnerable
- effective implementation of housing strategies
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