2016/2017 Saw a worrying increase in Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) council owned properties failing to meet the decent housing standards. From 2015/2016 to 2016/2017 the number of council owned properties failing to meet the standards more than doubled from 422 to 1,095 (9% of council housing stock).
The Decent Homes Standard is sometimes referred to as a ‘minimum” lettable standard. To reach the standard a home must be free of hazards, in a reasonable state of repair and have adequate windows, heating, boilers, plumbing and electrics. Kitchens must be less than 20 years old and bathrooms less than 30 years old.
When decent housing standards were introduced by the Blair government, the aim was that all social housing would meet the standards by 2010. LBHF has only achieved this target once in last 10 years in 2012/2013.
LBHF Residents Commission on Council housing (Oct 2015) warned that “there is the imminent threat that without proper levels of investment the condition of the stock will gradually deteriorate against a spiral of increasingly unaffordable maintenance costs. The predictions from LBHF Residents Commission would now appear to have been very accurate.
The significant deterioration of LBHF housing stock in 2016/2017 suggests insufficient investment and that things will only get worse in future unless addressed now.