Clause 63 - Government policy on supported and temporary accommodation

Part of Renters (Reform) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 28 November 2023.

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Photo of Jacob Young Jacob Young Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 2:00, 28 November 2023

It is a pleasure to see you in the Chair, Ms Fovargue.

Everyone deserves to live in a safe and decent home. It is completely unacceptable in this day and age that people are forced to live in homes that do not meet basic standards of decency. There is already a decent homes standard for social housing that has been successful in improving housing conditions. Since the standard was last updated in 2006, the level of non-decency in social housing has fallen from 29% to 10%, but there is no equivalent standard for the private rented sector, and homes in that sector are more likely to be non-decent.

Of the 4.6 million households that rent privately, 23% live in properties that would fail the decent homes standard that currently applies to social housing. That is around 1 million homes. That is why we committed in the levelling-up White Paper to halving the number of non-decent rented homes by 2030 and, in the “Fairer Private Rented Sector” White Paper, to introducing a legally binding decent homes standard in the private rented sector for the first time. It is also why we have tabled the Government amendments, which will allow Ministers to set a new standard to apply the private rented sector and for it to be enforced.

It is imperative that we get the content of the new standard right and that we ensure that it is both proportionate and fair. We are working closely with a range of stakeholders to co-design the standard and make sure the balance is right for landlords and tenants. For most PRS properties, our expectation is that the landlord will not need to do any additional work to meet the decent homes standard beyond what is needed to meet existing requirements and keep their properties in a good state of repair. We will provide further details on our proposals for the standard in due course.