Welcoming the Welsh Housing Quality Standard
This week, we’ve seen confirmation of the revised Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS). The WHQS 2023 sets out higher expectations for the quality of social housing across Wales. We’re delighted to see that the standard sets an expectation for the provision of floor coverings at change of tenancy.
The lack of provision of floor coverings has been something that Longleigh Foundation has identified through its grant-making function. Grantmakers provide floor coverings to those in the most need, but this support is a far cry from the prevailing need across the social housing sector, with 760,000 tenants currently living without floor coverings in the UK.
Knowing this, Longleigh Foundation wanted to make an impactful change in this area and for this reason, commissioned Altair to carry out a research project. The research focuses on the provision of floor coverings in Social Housing in England, Scotland, and Wales. The research builds on the work of Tai Pawb and TPAS in the ‘Floored’ report and the findings of JRF in their ‘House to Home’ report, with a view to effecting regulatory change for England, Scotland, and Wales.
We’ve found a widespread lack of floor coverings across the social housing sector, with around 90% of general needs tenancies being let without them. The absence of floor coverings has been found to impact tenants both financially and socially.
We’re hopeful that version two of the Decent Homes Standard brings an expectation with respect to floor coverings. We also want to see that the Scottish counterpart – the Scottish Housing Quality Standard – follows the lead of the Welsh Government in mandating the provision of floor coverings for new tenants.
In our research, we’ve released two learning reports so far which can be accessed below:
The reports are a must-read for landlords and policymakers. We are due to publish one more learning report, an interim report, and a final report between now and Summer 2024.
If you’d like to engage in the research in any way, please contact:
Anne-Marie Bancroft, Head of Consumer Regulation at Altair
If you’d like to learn more about Longleigh Foundation and our work, please contact:
Aileen Edmunds, CEO, Longleigh Foundation
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