Headlines: March 23rd, 2010

A report by MPs today praises the impact of the Decent Homes Programme on the living conditions of most social housing tenants but says the Government has failed to invest in a parallel programme for tenants in the private sector. The report from the Communities and Local Government Select Committee says there should be targets to bring all homes up to a decent standard.

MPs on the committee say the 40 billion pound programme has had a dramatically positive impact on social housing tenants. The Select Committee chair, Dr Phyllis Starkey said a decade ago too many low income families, vulnerable individuals and older people were living in sub-standard housing.

“The Government is to be applauded for providing both the political will and public money with which local authorities and their partner organisations have been able to tackle that problem,”she said but added: “Ministers have not shown an equal commitment to the same programme in the private sector, where many of the elderly and the vulnerable in particular are still living in poor-quality housing.”

Recommendations from the MPs include the need for future funding to be clarified now and they want all homes to be made more energy efficient. Following the success of arm’s-length management organisations in improving standards and planning they want councils which could not transfer their housing to be offered incentives of additional resources on reaching higher standards.

Today’s report comes less than a week after one from the Commons Public Accounts Committee, which criticised the management of the Decent Homes Programme and said large amounts of money had gone to the scheme without enough information on its impact.