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A wide-ranging consultation exercise was undertaken in February 2019 and showed that, while there was considerable support for the strong link between health and housing that the HHSRS provides, simplification of the assessment process would be welcomed by all stakeholders.
The recommendations of the scoping review set out 3 options for the second stage of the HHSRS review.
Option 1 would be the minimum required to improve, clarify and modernise the HHSRS assessment.
- Review and update the current HHSRS Operating Guidance.
- Develop a comprehensive set of Worked Examples which encompass the range of hazards, illustrate the utilisation of standards and provide a spectrum of risks.
- Review the current HHSRS assessor training, the training needs of assessors and other stakeholders and establish a HHSRS competency framework.
Option 2 includes Option 1 and will also address whether some hazard profiles can be removed or combined and to improve the guidance given to landlords and tenants.
- Identify a simpler means of banding the results of HHSRS assessments so that they are clearer to understand and better engage landlords and tenants.
- Extend current and develop new standards that could be incorporated into the HHSRS assessment process.
- Amalgamation and/or remove of some of the existing hazard profiles.
- Investigate the use of digital technology to support HHSRS assessments and improve understanding and consistency for all stakeholders.
- Review existing guidance for landlords and property-related professionals and consider the introduction of a separate guide for tenants.
- Review and update the current HHSRS Enforcement Guidance: Housing Conditions and Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004.
Option 3 would result in a comprehensive review of the HHSRS assessment process by building on options 1 and 2.
- Assess whether additional hazards, identified during the scoping review, should be added to the current list of hazard profiles. Consideration given to the ‘cocktail effect’ of multiple hazards on health.
- Comprehensive review of the statistical evidence which supports the HHSRS process including a consideration of whether regional data could form part of the system.
Government will proceed with Option 2 as this will make the system easier to understand for landlords and tenants, correct the disconnect between the HHSRS and other legislative standards, and facilitate the effective enforcement of housing standards by local authorities. It is also the most cost-effective option.