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Housing: Standards

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many assessments were carried out in (a) England and Wales, (b) each English region and (c) each London local authority under the Housing Health and Safety ratings system (HHSRS) in 2006-07; how many assessments under the HHSRS last year in (i) each English region and (ii) each London local authority were on properties in (A) the private rented sector, (B) local authorities and arms-length management organisations and (C) the registered social landlord sector; (135284)

(2) how many properties in the private rented sector were assessed under the Housing Health and Safety ratings system as representing a (a) Category 1 hazard and (b) Category 1 hazard (crowding and space) in (i) each English region and (ii) each London local authority in 2006-07;

(3) how many council and arms-length management organisation properties were assessed as having (a) Housing Health and Safety ratings system Category 1 hazard and (b) Category 1 hazard (crowding and space) in each (i) English region and (ii) London local authority in 2006-07;

(4) how many registered and social landlord properties were assessed as representing a Housing Health and Safety ratings system (a) Category 1 hazard and (b) Category 1 hazard (crowding and space) in (i) each English region and (ii) each London local authority in 2006-07.

The Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) only came in force on 3 April 2006 so the Department has not yet collected data on its use from local authorities. The Department will be collecting information on housing assessments through the Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) and the Business Plan Statistical Appendix (BPSA) returned by local authorities which will provide data as at April 2007. It is usual for the Department to publish the HSSA and BPSA at the end of the year subject to the data quality.

The HSSA data will include figures for dwellings with category 1 hazards, the estimated cost of removing the category 1 hazards in private sector dwellings and the number of private sector dwellings made free of category 1 hazards or demolished as a direct result of action by the local authority during 2006-07.

The BPSA data will include figures for the number of local authority homes that do not meet the statutory minimum standard for housing and the costs to put the defects right.

The English House Condition Survey will provide a national estimate of category 1 hazards for its 2006 findings, which we expect to publish early 2008. This will provide estimates of the number of category 1 hazards in each type of housing stock at the national level.

The Department is also committed to undertaking a detailed review the operation of the HHSRS once the system has been in operation for a while.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether social housing properties assessed as representing a Category 1 hazard under the Housing Health and Safety ratings system will be deemed to meet the Decent Homes standard. (135288)

Definition and Guidance published by the Department in June 2006 states that the first of the four criteria a decent home must meet is that it meets the current statutory minimum standard for housing. Dwellings which fail to meet this criterion are those containing one or more hazards assessed as serious (‘category 1’) under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) which local authorities have not yet received the additional money allocated for meeting the decent homes standard due to not reaching the designated quality standard; (138860)

(2) how many local authorities had not been awarded 2 star status for housing as at 31 March;

(3) which local authorities have received a 2 star inspection award for housing.

[holding answer 23 May 2007]: The need to achieve a 2 star rating from the Housing Inspectorate in order to qualify for decent homes funding applies only to arms length management organisations (ALMOs) set up by local authorities that are seeking additional Government resources to bring their housing stock up to the decent homes standard.

57 ALMOs have been set up since 2002 under the first five ALMO bidding rounds. 56 of these have now been inspected. 46 have achieved at least the necessary 2 star rating to qualify for funding. Eight have been awarded 0 or 1 star ratings and are preparing for or awaiting the results of re-inspection. Two have recently had initial inspections and are awaiting the results. The following table lists the local authorities involved, and funding provided.

ALMO funding awarded up to the end of 2007-08

£

Local authorities with ALMOs on rounds 1-5 that have achieved at least a 2 star rating from the Housing Inspectorate

Ashfield

55,320,000

Derby

97,176,000

Hounslow

99,650,000

Kirklees

149,800,000

Rochdale

106,300,000

Stockton

63,000,000

Westminster

74,000,000

Wigan

137,300,000

Barnsley

141,600,000

Blyth Valley

48,358,000

Bolton

157,560,000

Brent

67,997,000

Carrick

23,060,000

Cheltenham

31,440,000

Colchester

35,710,000

Hillingdon

59,300,000

Kensington and Chelsea

43,439,000

Leeds

382,461,657

Oldham

86,400,000

Waltham Forest

17,000,000

Barnet

48,783,400

Gateshead

104,140,000

High Peak

9,306,000

Islington

84,523,200

Newcastle

190,820,000

Poole

23,792,120

Sheffield

279,364,060

Solihull

50,245,000

South Lakeland

14,715,000

Warrington

30,199,680

Bury

16,560,000

Haling

104,548,000

Hammersmith and Fulham

92,062,500

Manchester

47,406,000

Newark and Sherwood

26,810,000

Rotherham

102,500,000

Sandwell

126,000,000

Gloucester

1

Newham

78,113,000

Stockport

40,360,000

Wear Valley

5,000,000

Local authorities with ALMOs that have been inspected, but have not yet achieved a 2 star rating

Easington

Bassetlaw

Eastbourne

Nottingham

Wolverhampton

Slough

South Tyneside

Southend

Local authorities with ALMOs awaiting the results of their initial inspections

Doncaster

Hackney

Local authorities with ALMOs yet to be inspected

Lambeth

1 To be confirmed