Housing Minister John Healey yesterday announced a full scale assessment of the government’s drive to improve England’s social housing stock.
He called the Decent Homes programme, launched in 2001, a “massive national refurbishment of unprecedented scale” with over £33 billion invested already to make sure council and housing association tenants live in homes with decent heating, wiring, windows, doors insulation, kitchen and bathrooms. But he said that the poorest performing councils appeared to be going backwards and he wanted to make they were not letting their tenants down and are getting the benefits of the lessons learned by the best.
Healey said that 27 local authorities had actually seen an increase in their non decent stock, 13 still had over half their stock non decent and 10 still had a third of their housing stock non decent.
“In 1997 we inherited over two million homes in disrepair and we have taken great strides in making sure tenants have a decent home. Unprecedented government investment and help has meant that next year a total of 92 per cent of our public homes will be at a decent level, but I want to go further. This government remains committed to making sure that all public homes are made decent.
“I am concerned some of the poorest performing local authorities are going backwards and I want to make sure they are not letting their tenants down and are getting the benefits of lessons learned in their area. This assessment will highlight all we’ve achieved as well as all we’ve learned along the way.”