The government is reviewing the DHS, ostensibly to assess whether or not it needs to be improved. It appears, however, that it is trying to avoid the thorny question of funding. If you are considering improving the standard there is a financial cost. Councils could not implement improvements without additional funding.
The review, whatever the intentions of the government, gives us the opportunity to highlight the limits of the current DHS and the crisis of funding faced by housing revenue accounts. A central component of improving the standard would be retro-fitting of existing council homes, necessary if homes are to be decarbonised. Yet it’s not clear that this will be addressed by the review.
Our briefing explains the historical background to the DHS and suggests some improvements. Essentially there needs to be a concerted campaign to resolve the problem of under-funding in order to improve the quality of existing housing stock and to face up to the costs of decarbonisation.
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