Council surveys standard of homes in private sector

By on 29/01/2010 in News

Birmingham City Council is set to carry out a survey of privately owned housing to assess property conditions and how they rate against the government's decent homes standard.

The council is keen to provide assistance to improve conditions in the private sector having already invested over £600 million to bring its own housing stock- over 65,000 properties- up to decent homes standard.

The council has also helped over 34,000 low income households from the private sector to improve thermal efficiency of their homes and tackle fuel poverty since April 2006, through its proactive Affordable Warmth programmes.

The survey is being carried out by CPC Ltd on behalf of the council, involving 1,800 dwellings across Birmingham which have been chosen as part a random sample. The survey commences this month and will be complete by April 2010.

Councillor John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “This survey is crucial for us to be able to gather essential information which will help us further improve conditions in the private sector, especially at a time when government funding for private sector renewal is reducing.

“We have already tackled key issues in the private sector, whether it's reducing the number of empty properties in the city to an all time low, or prosecuting private landlords who fail to comply with their legal obligations.

“We remain committed to helping our most vulnerable home owners get the support and assistance they need to live in warm, energy efficient homes with modern facilities.”

It is a government requirement that local authorities undertake regular private sector housing stock condition surveys and this survey will update information from the previous assessment in 2006.

Ends

Notes to editors
1. The government's definition of a decent home is one that is sufficiently warm, weatherproof and has reasonably modern facilities. The council is on target to meet 100% decent homes standard on its housing stock by 2010.
2. CPC Ltd specialises in this type of survey and has carried out similar surveys for councils across the country. The company was appointed following competitive pitches from several organisations.
3. The survey should take approximately 30 minutes.  All information will be treated in the strictest confidence and is principally used to provide general statistics. The council will not share information with anyone else and will only use it for the purposes stated above.

Further information from Belinder Kaur Lidher on 0121 303 6969

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