The UK government has introduced condition standards for housing known as the “Decent Homes Standard” (DHS). The DHS prescribes several key indicators – termed “criteria” – for showing that a dwelling is up to a minimum standard of repair and that it meets a minimum energy efficiency level. The DHS requires that all English social housing meet these criteria by 2010. The social housing sector is currently trying to implement maintenance programmes to ensure that the DHS is met. A range of strategic problems have arisen, particularly in terms of the finance available to undertake necessary works to dwellings, and human resources – both in terms of contractor availability and in‐house resources such as contract administrators and surveyors. However, the main starting point for implementing a strategy to meet the DHS is stock condition data. This paper describes issues with the accuracy and consistency of surveyors' survey judgements and their potential impact on planning for the DHS.
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