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Wednesday, March 29, 2006
'Decent homes' - much improved or some way to go?
The English House Condition Survey, out today, reports that social housing conditions are much improved since the last ten years. It claims there has been an overall reduction of one million social homes and 400 thousand vulnerable private sector households living in dwellings failing to meet the Decent Homes Standard since 1996. Well, things may be better but in 2004 there were still a fairly shocking 6 million (29%) officially non-decent homes as measured by the standards.

And on the same day, it was announced that another £29m was going to the East Midlands to bring homes up to the Decent Homes Standard. It's actually not much money, I don't think. The average cost of making a home decent is £7,028 totalling over £47 billion for all non-decent stock. And the DHS is very much a basic level of housing, meaning that homes have adequate insulation, a working heating system and other pretty basic things, though the insulation standards are difficult to meet for older homes, especially in the private sector, where incentives to insulate your Victorian terrace with 9 inch brick walls are not very high.

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