There are now 4.3m privately rented households across Britain, with that number doubling since the mid-90s. However despite this large number, over a third of these privately rented homes fail to meet the Government’s Decent Homes standard for England. Key contributing factors to this include homes being too cold, in bad repair or having poor health and safety.
The housing charity, Shelter, runs more than 50 local services throughout England and Scotland, providing expert advice and support directly to people experiencing these housing-related problems.
ONE MILLION HOUSEHOLDS HELPED
British Gas teamed up with Shelter to improve this situation and set an ambitious goal – to help 1 million homes in the private rented sector in the next 5 years.
British Gas heating and electrical engineers visit 50,000 homes up and down the country every day. They’ve insulated 3 million homes over the last 5 years, keeping them warm and draught-free. They’ve also spent over £500m supporting vulnerable customers over the past three years, which is more than any organisation in Britain, bar the Government.
Helping one million homes is a big job and these are the five key areas that require focus:
1. Improving gas and electrical safety
2. Ensuring homes are warm and efficient
3. Supporting landlords with advice and expertise
4. Providing renters with relevant advice
5. Supporting accreditation schemes to help improve housing
TACKLING HOUSEHOLD DEBT TOGETHER
Debt is a growing problem and research conducted earlier last year by YouGov revealed that 1.4m people are falling behind with their rent or mortgage.
In 2012, British Gas spent over £500m supporting 2.1m customers – more than any organisation in Britain, bar the Government. Since 2004, they have also contributed over £43m to the British Gas Energy Trust (BGET), which provides advice and grants to people struggling with debt and household bills. Shelter provides specialist advice on a number of issues such as housing, benefits and debt advice through its face-to-face advice services, online advice and via their helpline.
By working together we can make a difference to millions of people and improve lives of people renting in Britain.