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15 Sep 2023 < Back

All Party Parliamentary Group produces new Healthy Homes manifesto

Whilst we might be in the last throws of summer with the kids now back to school and the nights starting to draw in; it is also a signal to many who deal with dampness issues that the return of condensation and mould related issues within people’s homes issues is just round.

Back in July, I attended the launch of the ‘Healthy Homes Manifesto’ and a BRE (Better Regulation Executive) report into ‘The cost of Ignoring Poor Housing.’ 

The manifesto is the product of an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) that the PCA has contributed too since its formation in 2017. It states that many of us spend up to 90% of our time indoors and that “Poor housing costs the NHS in England up to £1.4bn per year. Nearly £1bn of that related to indoor comfort aspects.

Good news – we do have cross party consensus, but…

It is encouraging to see that there is some cross party consensus on the issue including the realisation that ‘The status quo is not sustainable’ and that addressing poor quality housing has almost immediate huge economic, social and health benefits. 

However, this isn’t just a issue for social housing . Private rental has the highest proportion of non decent homes with social housing actually providing the lowest. 

What the BRE report has to say…

The BRE report is equally interesting.  Quoting from the report: “research shows that there are some 65,000 Category 1 damp/mouldy homes in England, with a total cost of some £250 million backlog of work needed to make them healthy and safe. But the benefit to society of undertaking this work immediately is estimated to be £4.8 billion over 30 years, and £4.3 billion over the same period if the work was undertaken in the first year”.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the necessary steps are going to be taken immediately to address the issue…but this does illustrate the extent of the issue. In addition, the report also concedes that this is just the worst affected properties and that the full extent of damp affected homes is much greater. 

Retrofit being considered a way forward – but will this just make the problem worse?!?

One concern however from the manifesto, and quite noticeable at the launch, is that there appears to be a belief that the way forward comes from retrofit. Whilst this undoubtedly plays a part, retrofitting a property and insulating it without ventilation will only result in the same poor quality indoor environments. A point we took the opportunity to raise with PM’s at the launch and will look to continue to highlight and repeat to ensure the message is heard.

The role of the ‘Residential Ventilation Group’ is more important than ever

This was however, part of the reason we set up the residential ventilation group (RVG) many years ago. We identified that the role of ventilation in the built environment was only set to become increasingly vital and that the issue needed to be highlighted and consumers needed to be signposted to where they could find quality contractors with a sound understanding of ventilation and its relationship to dampness.   

Your opportunity to have your say – join us on 31st October

As always however, we are keen to hear what our PCA members think and what you have to say about it.  On that note, there is an ideal opportunity for you to communicate those thoughts. 

If you want to get involved in this conversation, why not join us at the next residential ventilation group meeting which is scheduled for 31st October 2023. If you would like to get involved, simply contact [email protected] and closer to the time, we will send out a notification with the agenda to you. 

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