11 June 2019
Housing Safety Standards

Please allow me to reassure you that ensuring everyone has a safe and high-quality home continues to be a top priority for the Government. With the proportion of non-decent homes and homes with damp all down in both the private rented and social rented sectors since 2010, a great deal of progress has been made towards achieving this. However, much more remains to be done.
I welcome the work being done by the Government to address fire safety concerns. Following the final report of the Hackitt Review, the Government announced a ban on flammable cladding in high rise buildings and desktop fire safety studies, both of which took effect on 21 December 2018. Moreover, I am pleased that the Government has announced it will meet the £400 million costs of remedial cladding work on social housing high rise buildings and £200 million for private high rise buildings. This will help to speed up the work which is already well underway on the majority of these buildings with unsafe cladding.
The Government has a strong record of taking action where necessary to drive up safety standards such as legislating to require all private sector landlords to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and to ensure landlords check these alarms are working at the start of each new tenancy. This has helped to push the proportion of households with a working smoke alarm up from 86 per cent in 2010 to 90 per cent in 2016.
I welcome that the Government has supported and worked with Karen Buck MP in passing an Act that will raise standards in the private and social rented sectors. The Act will achieve this by giving tenants the right to take legal action when landlords fail in their duty to provide a home fit for human habitation.