Private sector house conditions survey

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Councils are periodically required to assess the condition of the private sector housing stock within their area. This is usually carried out every 5 years for the purpose of collecting information about owner occupied and privately rented properties to serve as a useful evidence base to:

  • determine priorities for action
  • inform investment strategies
  • monitor performance in relation to government targets 

The latest housing stock condition survey in York was completed in September 2008.

There are about 71,500 privately owned properties in York. It is not realistic to survey them all and so information is collected from a sample of houses. For the 2008 survey 1,721 properties were drawn at random from across York. This means the reported figures are estimates and should not be quoted as exact figures.

Information was collected about the age, size, type and tenure of homes. Their condition was assessed using two technical measurements: the housing health and safety rating system and the decent homes standard.

Further details of what these terms mean are given in the report on the left of this page. In addition, a socio-economic survey was undertaken to gain a better understanding of the occupiers in terms of health, income and household circumstances.

The survey concluded that housing conditions in the city are better than the national average and have continued to improve since the last survey undertaken in 2002. However, although significant progress has been made, some underlying problems still remain and will be addressed in any future private sector housing strategy.

The survey in York identified a number of key findings including:

  • above average rates of poor condition in the Micklegate, Guildhall and Hull Road areas
  • poor performance in the private rented sector especially in shared multi occupation properties
  • concentration of poor conditions in pre 1919 housing and converted flats
  • association of poor housing conditions and vulnerable households
  • levels of equity owner occupiers have in their properties

Although the key messages from the survey are that the housing stock is generally in a good condition it should be recognised that significant resources are required to bring all the homes in York up to decent homes standard. However, it must be emphasised that the majority of this cost will be met by owner occupiers and landlords improving and repairing their homes.

The report provides a considerable amount of data to inform the debate around directing resources and services to address these and other issues.

The full report is available to download from this page.

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