The current Decent Homes Standard, introduced in 2006, replaced the previous non-statutory standard ‘A decent home: the definition and guidance for implementation’ and has played a key role in setting the minimum standards that social homes are required to meet.
A decent home meets the following four criteria:
a) It meets the current statutory minimum standard for housing
b) It is in a reasonable state of repair
Dwellings which fail to meet this criterion are those where either:
c) It has reasonably modern facilities and services
Dwellings which fail to meet this criterion are those which lack three or more of the following:
A home lacking two or fewer of the above is still classed as decent, therefore it is not necessary to modernise kitchens and bathrooms if a home meets the remaining criteria.
d) It provides a reasonable degree of thermal comfort
This criterion requires dwellings to have both effective insulation and efficient heating. It should be noted that, whilst dwellings meeting criteria b, c and d are likely also to meet criterion a, some Category 1 hazards may remain to be addressed. For example, a dwelling meeting criterion d may still contain a Category 1 damp or cold hazard.
In the Social Housing white paper, published on 17 November 2020, the government committed to review the Decent Homes Standard. Consequently, a two-part review of the Decent Homes Standard launched in 2021, with part 1 concluding the standard remained broadly suitable and effective but an update would be beneficial.
Part 2 of the review began in spring 2022 following the Levelling up white paper announcements exploring both the application of the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector and potential regulatory changes to the standard that would apply to both sectors.
*Please note: The above summary is based on FireAngel’s interpretation of The Decent Homes Standard, always refer to the standard for specific guidance.