homeThursday 21st March 2019

Call for views on HHSRS shake-up

Katie Coyne08/11/2018 - 14:01

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HHSRS has not been reviewed since 2006
HHSRS has not been reviewed since 2006

The fate of the housing health and safety rating system is being called into question with a far-reaching government review looking into its viability.

Ministers want to improve standards across PRS, and the scoping review will collect evidence to determine whether and how it needs to be updated or even potentially scrapped and replaced with something else.

While views on HHSRS are divided among EHPs and it has been criticised for being unwieldy and technical it is an important tool to assess health and safety risks in the home.

However, a CIEH poll last year found unanimous support for an HHSRS overhaul as the system has not been revisited since its introduction in 2006 and the evidence used to create it was collected in the late 90s and early noughties.

At least two reports in the past three years coming out of the select committee for housing, communities and local government have recommended HHSRS be revisited

CIEH policy manager Tamara Sandoul said: ‘This is a really important review, which has been expected for a long time. As a profession, it is vital that our voice is heard and that housing and health links remain a focus for any future system. 

‘CIEH will be engaging with this review over the coming months and we would like all of our members’ input over the coming months to help us formulate our policy.

‘The review also comes at a time of great change in housing policy - with Karen Buck’s private members bill to give tenants greater powers to take rogue landlords to court and Julie Rugg’s work to improve private renting with an MOT style property rating system - so it is likely that some substantial changes to housing assessment tools could be proposed.’

In the CIEH survey last year, Some 97 per cent supported an update of HHSRS of some sort, with 89 per cent wanting to see an update of the operating guidance, and 79 per cent of the worked examples. Over half, 53 per cent, reported seeing hazards that were not adequately addressed by the HHSRS guidance.

Housing minister Heather Wheeler MP on announcing the review said: ‘Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their own home.

‘These reviews will allow us to revisit the current systems for health and safety ratings and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure that both are fit for purpose and meeting the needs of tenants.

‘By looking again at these rules, we can make sure that they are working as they should to keep people safe and give them peace of mind in their homes.’

*If you would like to submit your views to CIEH on HHSRS email policy@cieh.org


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