Decent Homes Review - Update

The Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has released an update on the Decent Homes Review, citing that more time is needed to create a more measured approach to developing the policy.

As part of the Social Housing White Paper commitments on February 2021, the Government launched a review of the Decent Homes Standard (DHS) and established a Sounding Board made up of representatives from across social housing to provide support and advice. Part 1 of the review concluded last year, with feedback stating that the standard remains effective, but may require updates to become more beneficial.

In February this year, the Government published the Levelling Up White Paper. This set the ambition to apply the DHS to the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and reduce the number of non-decent rented homes by 50% by 2030. The sounding board now includes representatives of the Private Rented Sector (PRS), to discuss and take forward Part 2 of the Review.

Feedback from Part 2 found that the review would benefit from more time to allow for a more measured approach to developing the policy, including consideration of which current elements of the Decent Homes Review work and what additional measures can be put in place to help to reduce non-decency. As an initial step, the Government will be consulting on applying the DHS to the PRS.

“As covered at our recent RdSAP Roadshow, the Decent Homes Review and Levelling Up White Paper has played, and will continue to play, a big part in the future of the Rental sector as a whole. We firmly believe that Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) will be included in this process. Therefore, the upcoming consultation on PRS within Decent Homes is crucial for DEAs and our industry as a whole. It will be vital that members are aware of the proposed changes and their impacts and have the opportunity to respond. Once the consultation is released, we will share this and our comments with the membership.

Finally, whilst I agree that it is prudent to take the time to ensure that this process is done correctly and good outcomes are achieved, time is of the essence here. Energy bills are going up faster than ever, and the rental sector (Social and PRS) contain the largest proposition of people in fuel poverty in our country. It is vital that we release legislation to improve the standards of rental buildings so that tenants can be taken away from (and ultimately out of) fuel poverty and support these regulations with suitable incentives and funding mechanisms for Landlords so that they are able to improve their buildings in the best possible way.” - Andrew Parkin, Managing Director at Stroma Certification