The Welsh Government is proposing a new mandatory quality standard for all social homes and are inviting views on the proposals through public consultation. It is already a requirement for social homes to be built and maintained to a higher quality standard to market housing. The standard in Wales is particularly high and is more demanding than in any of the other home nations. By 2020, 99% of all social homes in Wales achieved the current standard, which was first set in 2002. What is now proposed through the Welsh Housing Quality Standard 2023 is a drive for further improvements. It is proposed that the standard will be introduced in 2023, and that all existing social homes will achieve the new standard by 2033.
Speaking in the Senedd, the Climate Change Minister Julie James said ‘I make no apology for proposing what some will see as a bold approach. I am determined the standards bar should be raised again.’
‘Our social housing tenants deserve these standards to be the best we can make them. My firm hope is that these standards will not only be brought to bear for social housing, but that in the future other tenures may consider how they too might meet and exceed these expectations.’
The implication here is that the proposed standard should not be viewed through a social housing lens alone. It could well be a prelude for what is to come for standards in the private sector.
What are the key upgrades being proposed?
The notable changes in this new standard are in the areas of energy efficiency, in minimum floor space requirements and the need to consider biodiversity and water poverty. Landlords will also be required to comply with updated legal requirements.
Have your say on the proposed new standard
You can input your views to this consultation either directly to Welsh Government (in English or in Welsh) or by getting in touch with us at [email protected] and we will include your feedback as part of our wider FMB response. The consultation will close on 3 August 2022.