Shelter and British Gas - working together to launch the Living Home Standard

  • A benchmark to measure home standards
  • Five essential criteria determines whether a home passes or fails
  • 4 in 10 homes in Britain don't meet these criteria


Shelter has a vision that aims to ensure everyone has a home they can be safe, comfortable and happy in. British Gas has been working with Shelter for four years and it's committed to supporting that vision through their partnership.


Together, in April British Gas and Shelter launched the Great Home Debate which saw thousands of people reveal what home meant to them. Along with research conducted by Ipsos MORI, the results gave Shelter the foundations to build a vision of what a home should be. The outcome of this is the Living Home Standard – a benchmark designed to help government bodies, charities and other organisations measure home standards in Britain.


The Living Home Standard breaks the home into five essential criteria that will determine whether a home passes or fails the Standard.        


mother and child looking at a cooker with 'decent conditions' written over the top of the image

A home should be safe, clean, warm and secure. Nearly 1 in 5 homes currently fail the criteria for decent conditions, with 1 in 10 households having mould or damp problems. 


mother holding new born baby with 'stability' written over the top of the image

A home should be able to be made a ‘home’. The majority of private renters, who don’t meet this criteria, feel they don’t have enough control over how long they can stay in their homes. The impact of this is that for many people, home is neither relaxing nor reliable.


rows of houses with 'neighbourhood' written over the top of the image

A home should be where you can feel safe, inside and out. Many households are lucky enough to have this feeling of security, but there’s still work to be done to ensure it’s a standard everyone enjoys.


key in a front door that is ajar  with 'affordability' written over the imageA home should leave enough money to enjoy everyday experiences. More than a quarter of households fail the affordability standard, with many worrying that mortgage or rent rises would be difficult to manage.


family playing with a wooden train set with 'space' written over imageA home should have enough room to enjoy personal space. Lack of a place to get away from noise and problems of everyday life is an increasing problem, especially in cities like London – where a quarter of households fail this standard.


With more than 4 in 10 homes in Britain not meeting these criteria, Shelter is calling on the government and other housing organisations to increase the number of homes that meet the Living Home Standard.


Shelter Chief Executive Campbell Robb said: “We know we can create meaningful change for future generations.  And it’s clear that the British public want to see everyone living in a place they can truly call home.”


Through its partnership with Shelter, British Gas has successfully campaigned for law changes for better living conditions in the private rented sector. The Living Home Standard is an opportunity to further improve living conditions across more homes in Britain.


Sarwjit Sambhi, British Gas' Managing Director of UK Home said: “We saw the development of the Living Home Standard as a powerful opportunity.  We’ve been able to learn from our customers about what’s important to them in a home, and with Shelter have produced something that has the potential to help everyone have a safe, decent and warm place to call home.”


Published October 2016. All facts and figures correct at the time of publishing.


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