Delivering Decent Homes

This section provides an explanation of the options available (ie ALMO, Transfer and PFI) to local authorities who cannot deliver the Decent Homes Target by retaining their stock. It also includes information about the role of Registered Social Landlords and renewal in the private sector.

The Audit Commission plays a key role in helping local authorities to improve their housing services through auditing, inspection and research. They also help improve the performance of housing associations, in conjunction with the Housing Corporation.

The role of Registered Social Landlords

Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), also known as housing associations, are organisations which are registered with and regulated by the Housing Corporation, whose regulatory code requires them to meet the Decent Homes Standard by 2010, except where a specific extension is negotiated. In order to register with the Housing Corporation the housing association must not only be a 'not for profit' organisation, but also most of its business must be the ownership or management of social rented housing.

Housing associations can borrow money from banks and building societies to buy and invest in housing to bring it up to a decent standard, and can also use this money to help regenerate local neighbourhoods and the wider area. It is run by a committee or board made up of volunteers, and in the case of new housing associations a minimum of one third of the board is made up of tenant representatives.

Progress towards the Target

We have reduced the number of non-decent social homes by one million, and increased the proportion of private sector vulnerable households in decent homes to 65 per cent. By 2010 local authorities and housing associations will have spent over £40bn on housing.

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