Communities and Local Government Committee: Press Notice

Session 2008-09, 22 July 2009

New Inquiry and Call for Evidence

Beyond Decent Homes: decent housing standards post 2010

In 2000 the Government committed itself to bringing all social housing up to a decent standard by 2010. In 2002, the Government broadened this target to include private sector homes occupied by vulnerable households. On 21 July 2009, the Government published a consultation paper on its plans to reform council housing finance, including proposals to complete the Decent Homes programme and maintain the standard. Against this background, the Committee's inquiry will consider what steps the Government needs to take to ensure that decent housing standards are met and sustained after 2010. Questions the Committee will consider include:

  • What lessons can be learned from the Decent Homes programme and equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
  • Where targeted housing fails to reach the Decent Homes criteria by 2010, how should this backlog be addressed?
  • Should minimum acceptable social housing standards be amended to take account of environmental standards, fuel poverty and the estate?
  • Do the management organisations€”councils, including via ALMOs, and housing associations€”need to change? Will they have sufficient funds?
  • What are the implications for decent housing standards of the Government's proposal, currently out for consultation, to move to a devolved system of council housing finance?
  • How should the Decent Homes target for private sector homes occupied by vulnerable people be taken forward?
  • Are adequate arrangements in place for the future regulation of minimum acceptable housing standards?
  • Are there local examples of innovative best practice with wider post-2010 applicability?

Written evidence is invited by Monday 7 September covering any or all of the above and any other relevant issues.

Please note

Each submission should:

  1. be no more than 3,000 words in length;
  2. begin with a short summary in bullet point form;
  3. have numbered paragraphs;
  4. be in Word format (no later than 2003) with as little use of colour or logos as possible; and
  5. be accompanied by a covering letter containing the name and contact details of the individual or organisation submitting evidence.

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to and marked "Decent Homes"

If you are unable to send an electronic version, please send a paper copy to:

Nicola McCoy
Committee Assistant
Communities and Local Government Committee
House of Commons
7 Millbank

It is helpful, for Data Protection purposes, for contact details not to be included in the text of submissions, but sent separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at:

Please also note that:

Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work may be included.

  • Memoranda submitted should be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless specifically authorised. Authorisation to publish your submission, which is normally granted, should be sought from the Committee Clerk.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.