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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Department for Social Development's Review of the fitness standard

The Department for Social Development’s review of the Fitness Standard is currently underway.  The Department is seeking views on what should be included within a revised standard, how a revised standard may be enforced and how the enforcement arrangements will be conducted going forward. Housing Rights received 1449 queries relating to conditions and disrepair in 2015.  It is widely accepted that the current Housing Fitness Standard is insufficiently detailed or rigorous. The review provides an excellent opportunity to influence the development of tools and standards that will improve health and safety across all housing tenures. Closing date for responses is the 10 June 2016.

Housing Rights Event - Linking Health and Housing; Tools for Raising Standards 17 May

Recognising the importance of this opportunity, Housing Rights is delighted to host a unique half day policy seminar on 17th May.  This will examine key tools and resources for raising standards and will feature contributions from experts in this field. The event will be particularly relevant and timely for those contributing to the current fitness review. 

Linking health and housing, as well as focussing on the experience of Council enforcement officers in England and in NI, the seminar will focus on key issues including:

  • The Health and Housing Safety Rating System. The model for housing fitness in use in England, Wales and the USA which assesses core housing standards and the impact of housing on the health and well-being of occupants.
  • Landlord licensing. This could provide the overarching framework for the enforcement of improved housing standards in the private rented sector.

There will also be an opportunity for questions and participant discussion.

Key speakers 

  • Professor David Ormandy is a Professorial Fellow and the Head of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Housing Standards and Health.
  • Russell Moffat is the Operational Manager (Private Housing & Environmental Health) at Newham Borough Council 
  • Stephen Leonard is the Environmental Health Manager (Env Protection & Public Health & Housing) at Belfast City Council.

Book your place

Places are £40 for members of the voluntary / community sector and £65 for membership of the public / private sector. Book your place online or by emailing frances@housingrights.org.uk

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This article was written on 27 April 2016. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.