Housing Standards Bill

More than four in 10 Britons live in homes that do not reach acceptable standards in cleanliness, safety and space, housing charity Shelter says.

Shelters new Living Home Standard considers affordability, neighbourhood, stability and living conditions - and the charity asked 1,691 adults about their homes.

Shelter concluded affordability was the biggest problem, and said people should "thrive" in homes, not just "get by".

The government said a priority is doubling the affordable housing budget.

Shelter and Ipsos MORI developed the Living Home Standard through a series of workshops and surveys with the public, with support from British Gas.

The measurement of homes meeting the standard was calculated based on results from a survey of 1,961 adults across the UK.

Each of the five elements in the standard is measured according to certain criteria - for example, the essentials of "space" include having sufficient bedrooms for the household and space for the whole household to spend time together in the same room.

The five elements are:

§  Affordability: Factors cited included how much was left for essentials, savings and social activities after paying for rent or mortgage

§  Decent conditions: Words like "safe", "warm" and "secure" were among the words used by the public to describe what makes a home meet this criterion

§  Space: Adequate space was felt to be crucial for wellbeing, especially mental and social wellbeing

§  Stability: Stability was often described as the extent to which people felt they could make the property they lived in a "home"

§  Neighbourhood: Living in an area where people felt safe and secure was considered particularly important. People also wanted to be close enough to work, family and friends and the services they need

Other aspects included having outdoor space, and enough space for children to study and adults to work. The Living Home Standard is different to Labour’s Decent Homes Standard introduced in 2005.

Clearly we need to take action as soon as possible on this and I will support all the work being done to achieve it.

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