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Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS): Review outcomes and next steps

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RHE Global drew our attention to the latest policy paper published by the Department for Levelling-up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) 7th September 2023, setting out the key recommendations for the update of the HHSRS in their recent LinkedIn article  (18) Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS): Review outcomes and next steps | LinkedIn 

'...The Government commissioned RHE Global and partners to undertake a two-year review of the HHSRS, a process that was concluded in 2022. As most of you will be aware, the HHSRS was introduced in April 2006 by the Housing Act 2004 but has remained unchanged since then. The earlier Scoping Review undertaken by RHE concluded that, while there was considerable support for the strong links between health and housing provided by the HHSRS, all stakeholders welcomed a review and simplification of the assessment process and better integration with other regulations in the housing sector.

Extensive stakeholder engagement was critical to the success of this review, and this activity was undertaken in the initial stages of the project along with in-depth literature reviews for each of the research project outputs and workstreams. Over 1,000 stakeholders with specialist experience and relevance to the HHSRS and housing sector contributed to the consultation. This was carried out alongside regular sounding board meetings and consultation with the government-facilitated project board of key housing representatives and organisations from across the housing sector. We are very grateful for everyone’s contribution to the review of the HHSRS. Key changes recommended to the Government include:

  • Amalgamation of selected HHSRS hazards, reducing the total number from 29 to 21
  • Adoption of a simpler means of banding the results of HHSRS assessments
  • Publication of baseline indicators that can be used to make an initial assessment of whether a property contains significant hazards
  • The publication of newly drafted statutory HHSRS operating and enforcement guidance, new tenant guidance and a comprehensive set of new case studies (worked examples)
  • A reviewed and amalgamated hazard of fire and explosions, including a newly drafted and dedicated guide to this hazard and issues of fire safety
  • A review of HHSRS digital assessment tools, HHSRS training requirements and associated competency frameworks.

The report notes that the next steps regarding the implementation of the recommendations, to tie in with the conclusion of the government’s Decent Homes Standard Review, will be the adoption of new regulations enacting the changes to the HHSRS. ...'

View the summary report here.

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