Headlines: June 18th, 1998


A ‘tenant participation compact’, and a ‘home fitness rating’ are among the new devices to be used by the Government to drive improvement of the country’s housing stock.

The new schemes were revealed by Housing Minister Hilary Armstrong in a speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing, in which she outlined the scope and nature of government interventions in the housing market.

She said the Government’s aims of empowering citizens in the homes and communities where they lived would be aided by the compact, which will give council tenants a direct stake in running their homes. It will be in operation across all councils on a voluntary basis from April 2000, but the government will legislate, if necessary, to hand power to tenants.

She said the council role was a strategic one, in planning how housing was provided, based on local needs.

The speech also touched on how the government would legislate to improve the quality of the worst housing by introducing a new Home Fitness Rating to measure health and safety risks at home. And a Housing Inspectorate will be set up to oversee Best Value management practice introduced into council housing.