According to statistics from the Regulator for Social Housing, the number of non-decent PRP low cost rental homes has fallen by 80%, however more funding is needed to ensure all social housing meets the Decent Homes Standard, says Scape Group.
The Regulator for Social Housing has released the latest private registered provider (PRP) social housing stock in England — stock profile statistics, which revealed the following:
PRPs reported 8,979 units failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard in 2019. Since 2012 levels of non-decent PRP low cost rental stock have fallen by 80% from 45,603 units in 2012 to 8,979 units in 2019.
This represents just 0.4% of PRP homes, which compares to 4% of local authority dwellings, which are failing to meet the Decent Homes Standard.
Scape Group’s recent research report ‘The State of Our Estates’ found that repair and maintenance work on public housing has been on a downward trajectory over the last two decades.
It hit an all-time low in 2018 of £7.1bn – a £2.2bn decrease since 1997, despite the number of public sector homes only decreasing by 542,000.
Over the last two decades, spend on repair and maintenance work in London and the South-east is higher than any other region, with 36% of all repair and maintenance work taking place in these two regions alone.
Mark Robinson, Scape Group Chief Executive, commented: “A concerning number of people live in substandard homes, which is affecting not only their physical and mental wellbeing, but their quality of life. Local authorities continue to battle budget cuts and after a decade of austerity, councils are having to make difficult decisions about funding priorities.
“The Spending Review — which should have set out how government funding would be distributed across departments for the next three years — has been reduced to a one-year programme as a result of ongoing Brexit uncertainty. Local authorities desperately need clarity on funding, with one in three fearing that they will run out of money by 2022/2023.
“The North-South divide in the repair and maintenance of property paints a stark picture of housing stock across the country. We need the Government to provide the funding to make sure all social housing is of a decent standard.”