Local authorities have powers, under the Housing Act 2004, to assess the risks and hazards in residential properties using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. If a property is found to contain serious (category 1) hazards, the local authority has a duty to take the most appropriate action. This could range from trying to deal with the problems informally at first to prohibiting the use of the whole or part of the dwelling.
Local authorities also have powers under the Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002 to provide financial assistance for repairs, improvements, or adaptations to homes. It is for local authorities to determine how they will use these powers, taking into account local priorities.
My Department is providing £1.6 billion of funding over the spending review period to help councils ensure council housing meets the Decent Homes Standard. The following table shows the stock of non-decent homes in the social sector, bringing together the LA data and the PRP data from the RSR:
This shows that between 2010 and 2011 there was a reduction in the number of non-decent social homes of 140,000 homes during 2010-11.