Assistance to Improve your Home

Assistance to improve your home
Do you need help to tackle home repairs or are you struggling to afford essential home improvements? Visit the Helping Hand website which explains how your council can help you, if you are a homeowner and are struggling to carry out repairs, essential improvements, or adaptations to your home.

Decent Homes in Private Sector Housing
A Decent Home is a home that is warm, weatherproof and has reasonably modern facilities.

The Decent Homes Standard was set by The Government and affects both social and private housing. A target has been set for private sector housing to ensure 70% of non-decent housing occupied by vulnerable residents is improved by 2010. The definition of vulnerable is given as anyone in receipt of one of the principal means tested or long-term disability benefits and families with children.

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Councils Housing Standards Team is therefore concentrating its activity on achieving this private sector housing target.

A Decent Home meets the following four criteria:
  • Meets the current statutory minimum standard for housing:
    The current minimum standard for housing is the Fitness Standard (repair, stability, freedom from damp, internal arrangement, natural lighting, ventilation, water supply, drainage, sanitary and kitchen facilities). The Government intends to replace the Fitness Standard with the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) through the Housing Act 2004.
  • Is in a reasonable state of repair:
    A home will fail this if one or more of the key building components is old and in poor condition, for example walls, roof, windows/doors, gas installations and electrics. Or if, two or more other building components are old and in poor condition, such as kitchens and bathrooms. (A component cannot fail this criterion based on age alone) .
  • Has reasonably modern facilities and services:
    A home will fail the Decent Homes Standard if it lacks three or more of the following:
    • Reasonably modern kitchen that is no more than 20 years old
    • A kitchen with adequate space and layout
    • A reasonably modern bathroom that is no more than 30 years old
    • An appropriately located bathroom and WC
    • Adequate noise insulation (where external noise is a issue)
    • Adequate size and layout of common areas of flats.
  • Provides a reasonable degree of thermal comfort:
    A home is required to have both:

    Efficient Heating:
    This can be a programmable central heating system using gas, oil LPG or solid fuel or electric storage heaters.

    Effective Insulation:
    This can be a minimum of 50 mm loft insulation or cavity wall insulation for dwellings with gas or oil heating. Minimum 200 mm loft insulation and cavity wall insulation for dwellings heated by electric storage heaters, LPG or solid fuel.

Housing Renewal Policy
The provision of Housing Assistance will ensure that repairs and/or improvements actioned under our Policy contribute to increasing the number of private properties that meet the Decent Homes Standard.

Private Rented Accommodation
Landlords will be required to improve their housing stock to meet the Decent Homes Standard.

Further information can be found on the DCLG website .

Contact Information
Housing Standards Team (Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council)
Tel: (01287) 612455
Fax: (01642) 771124

Standing List of Contractors

How do I find a reliable builder?
The Council has a list of organisations who have undergone checks by the authority in terms of the following areas:
  • Insurance cover
  • Finance
  • Health & Safety
  • Equalities
  • Technical capacity
The organisations who are on the list have passed the above checks and are deemed suitable to carry out works on behalf of the Council.

Please note that the organisations are listed here for information purposes only.

The Council does not accept any liability for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information set forth on this webpage and cannot be held responsible for any work carried out unless the full Agency services of the Council are used.

 icon Standing List of Contractors.pdf (11.38k)
Last modified: 22/01/2010 16:04:53

Further Assistance
If you would like further help or advice in this area or you have any comments regarding any of the organisations on the list, please call Housing Standard Team on (01287) 612455.

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