Housing and Regeneration Minister Rebecca Evans has welcomed new figures showing a rise in the number of homes meeting key quality standards in the social housing sector.
As of the end of March 2018, 91% of homes managed by local authorities and housing associations in Wales were compliant with Welsh Housing Quality Standards, an increase of five percentage points compared to a year earlier.
The Welsh Housing Quality Standards measure 42 elements across seven categories:
- In a good state of repair
- Safe and secure
- Adequately heated, fuel efficient and well insulated
- Contain up-to-date kitchens and bathrooms
- Well managed (for rented housing)
- Located in attractive and safe environments
- As far as possible suit the specific requirements of the household (e.g. specific disabilities).
Rebecca Evans said:
“Every year we invest £108m to support local authorities and housing associations to improve the quality of our social housing stock in Wales and to meet the target of full compliance with the WHQS target by 2020. I am clear that there is more to do, but these figures show our investment is paying off.
Good quality housing is a Welsh Government priority because it is crucial to our health and wellbeing. Public Health Wales’ work tells us that poor housing costs the NHS £67m a year, so this investment is an investment in people’s health, an investment to tackle fuel poverty and an investment to improve people’s lives.
I am pleased to see good progress against this target and I expect to see local authorities and housing associations work to meet this target by 2020.”