Housing should provide an environment that is as safe and healthy as possible. Poor housing conditions can be a major cause of accidents and ill health.
Tackling problems of poor housing to protect the health, safety and welfare of the occupants is a key environmental health priority. The Housing Act 2004 has strengthened the position of EHPs in working to ensure that everyone has a decent home to live in.
EHPs working in local authorities focus primarily on helping tenants living in private sector housing, by requiring landlords to carry out necessary repair or improvement works.
The English Housing Survey Headline Report for 2014-15 shows that in 2014, a fifth of dwellings (20% or 4.6 million homes) failed to meet the Decent Homes standard. The private rented sector had the highest proportion of non-decent homes (29%) while the social rented sector had the lowest (14%). Among owner occupied homes, 19% failed to meet the Decent Homes standard in 2014.
Many homes fail the Decent Homes standard because of problems such as disrepair or outdated fittings, poor sound insulation etc. Others have serious hazards which can pose a risk to health. Particular risks are associated with houses converted into flats - houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). EHPs also help owner-occupiers by giving advice and arranging grants or other financial assistance for repairs or improvements.
As well as those working for local authorities, there are EHPs working in the housing sector as consultants and trainers, and in housing associations.
The CIEH has produced a number of publications on housing, both on its own and with partners.
Reports on enforcement activity