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News update from BRE’s Housing and Health team – March 2018

News from BRE’s Housing and Health Team – March 2018

Extending the scope of mandatory HMO licensing 

The government has recently announced its intention (subject to parliamentary clearance) to extend the requirement for mandatory HMO licensing to cover all rental properties occupied by 5 or more people, from 2 or more separate households regardless of the number of storeys. It is estimated that around 160,000 dwellings will be affected by the changes. In addition, new rules will be introduced stipulating minimum bedroom sizes in HMOs. The changes mean that councils will be able to take further action in situations where landlords are renting out sub-standard or overcrowded homes. It is likely that this will be introduced in April of this year. Read more

Nottingham selective licensing given green light from government 

Nottingham City Council has now received confirmation from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government that it may proceed with a scheme requiring landlords of private rented homes across the city to hold a licence. Approximately 90 per cent of private rented homes will be covered by the scheme. The scheme is designed to improve management of the sector through the enforcement of licence conditions, benefitting the health, safety, wellbeing and experience of rental households. BRE assisted with the evidence base, providing data on tenure and housing conditions. 

HHCC has been updated!

BRE Housing Health Cost Calculator (HHCC) was developed to provide local authorities with proof of the cost savings to the NHS and wider society gained by both enforcement and improvement strategies. We have released an update to the HHCC. This includes the application of the revised methodology for assessing the costs to society from housing interventions as outlined in the BRE publication The Full Cost of Poor Housing available in the BRE Bookshop. Click here to access the calculator.

Our customer’s stories

Durham County Council

There are a number of causes of fuel poverty which result in households being unable to afford sufficient warmth for health and comfort – these include low household income and debt, inefficient heating systems, heating systems with high running costs and poor quality housing. Durham County Council made use of the BRE Stock Model data as part of their Affordable Warmth strategy and Warm Homes Campaign to identify and target dwellings with solid walls and that are off the gas network. This has allowed Durham County Council to maximise the uptake of national and local fuel poverty and energy conservation intervention programmes. Read more – opens Durham CC pdf

East Cambridgeshire District Council

East Cambridgeshire District Council have developed their Private Sector Housing Policy and their most recent Housing Adaptations Policy using figures from the BRE Private Sector Housing Model Report and Health Impact Assessment (HIA). This information enabled the council to comply with their legislative requirements to review the housing stock in the district. The outcome of the project was shared with the local Public Health team to help maximise the number of interventions being implemented to prevent health issues for occupiers and may be used in the future where appropriate in further housing projects. Read more…

Bolton Council

Refurbishment in action at Bolton

Bolton Council carried out a data matching exercise of the BRE Housing Stock Condition Model data with health condition data to target their ‘Care and Repair’ services including ‘Safe Warm and Dry’ grants. The intention was to tackle those properties identified through the BRE model as being at the highest risk of failing decency that are lived in by those most in need. By tackling poor housing conditions it was hoped to support health and social care transformation plans by ensuring people are able to live in their own homes for longer with improved health. The exercise helped the council target households with both health conditions and living in poor housing conditions – such as dwellings suffering from excess cold where the occupier has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); respiratory disease or dwellings with the potential for fall hazards where the occupier is elderly and at higher risk of a hospital admission following a fall. The council also carried out a mailshot campaign to properties with the presence of both housing hazards and health conditions. Home visits were undertaken to identify the type of improvements that were needed. These have ranged from DPC’s, roofing, rewires, new kitchens and bathrooms. The flexible approach taken to funding has meant that DFG has been able to support the Council’s Safe Warm and Dry grant scheme and vice versa, providing a true wrap around service for the customer. If you want to know more about it, contact [email protected]

Did you know?

BRE’s Housing and Health team are always on the lookout for new and updated data releases which have the potential to strengthen our models. Understanding, making use of and keeping up to date with these housing data sources is key to ensuring we maximise the validity of the housing data we provide.

What’s happening: Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data has recently been released for use in targeting energy efficiency improvements. This has allowed us to replace modelled information with reported survey data for a variety of dwelling characteristics including wall type, insulation, double glazing and heating systems.

What’s new: It’s now possible for Local Authorities to access data from Tenancy Deposit Schemes.  This helps us identify private rented properties, which has always been challenging due to high turnover rates in this sector.  This has been particularly useful for those authorities interested in assessing the need for additional and selective licensing schemes.

What’s next: HM Land Registry are due to release their Commercial and Corporate Ownership Data this year. This data will potentially enable identification of dwellings owned by Councils and Housing Associations in our model.

Please get in touch if you have any recommendations for new data sources.

Useful Events and Training

FREE – Housing Stock Condition Database (HSCD) Webinar, Wednesday 25th April 12:30 Register here

Estimating the age of a dwelling, Online Course; Airtightness Awareness, Online Course; An Introduction to Flood Protection and Flood Prevention, Online Course; Radon – Buying and Selling Property in Radon Affected Areas, Online Course

More training courses here or See all BRE events…

Finally – Keep in Touch

We want to keep you updated on what’s new in the world of housing and health, as well as provide some insight into some of the work our customers have been doing. We hope to you will find these updates interesting and if you wish to receive an email notification when a new update is published (approximately once a quarter) please get in touch [email protected]

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