19th May 2009
Housing survey shows improvement in private living conditions
A survey into the condition of private housing on the Isle of Man has shown that dramatic improvements have been made since the last survey was completed in 2002.
David Adamson and Partners, on behalf of the Department of Local Government and the Environment, have completed the latest Private Sector House Condition Survey. The surveying work began in September 2007. DLGE carries out the house condition survey every five years. This is the fifth report since the first survey was carried out in 1984.
The Private Sector House Condition Survey also helps identify areas where additional support for homeowners might be required. It will help DLGE develop policies to target key areas, for example, with grants or other support, to improve living conditions.
John Shimmin, Minister for Local Government and the Environment, said, ‘This survey has helped DLGE to get an accurate picture of the state of private housing on the Island. This is vital information that will help us target assistance where it’s needed most. I’m very grateful to every one of the 1600 households that took part in this important survey.’
John Howie, Manager of the Environmental/Public Health Unit, said, ‘By measuring the overall condition of the Island’s private housing stock we can make comparisons with previous survey results and identify trends. Previous surveys have enabled DLGE to fund new initiatives such as the provision of adequate thermal insulation in houses and the improvement and efficiency of central heating systems.’
The survey has found that policies put in place since 2002 have been successful. Rates of unfitness have declined from 5.8% of private housing stock in 2002 to 3.9% in 2008, and rates of serious disrepair have declined from 13.6% to 10.4%. Our current average SAP (energy efficiency) rating is better than the score in England: 53 compared to 47. There has also been a 27% reduction in private sector housing CO2 emissions since 2002. However, despite improvements the required investment needed to further improve private housing remains significant.
The Environmental/ Public Health Unit is now developing recommendations to help turn the survey’s findings into targeted action points and policies to help address further necessary improvements to the state of private sector housing.
In order to target financial resources directly towards helping private sector housing identified as being either unfit, or in serious disrepair, DLGE will continue to make grants available to homeowners. The grants address major issues related to disrepair/dampness/lack of basic amenities etc., within owner/occupied dwelling houses and to prevent such houses from deteriorating further. Money is being made available to fund the grant scheme by freezing non-means tested energy efficiency grants from the 31st May 2009. Means tested energy efficiency grants will continue unchanged.
• The full 89-page report can be viewed and downloaded from the Department’s website at www.gov.im/dlge