Wednesday 9th June saw the success of the virtual event, ‘What Makes a Healthy Home?’ powered by Aico | HomeLINK. The event aimed to create thought-provoking discussion regarding the current standards and legislation that contribute to creating safe homes for residents and the resulting impact on the social housing sector.
In attendance were close to 300 professionals, thought-leaders and decision-makers from across the industry to hear from keynote speakers, Dr Stephen Battersby, Vice President at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and Dorota Pawlowski, Managing Associate at Trowers and Hamlins LLP. With interactive polls, dedicated question and answer sessions with keynote speakers and networking opportunities, the conference empowered the discussion of prevalent issues within the UK housing sector.
The event began with keynote speaker, Dr Stephen Battersby, who was part of the team from Warwick University that developed the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Stephen provided a comprehensive overview of the system’s background and history and gave a unique insight into its implementation. The interactive poll conducted during the session demonstrated that 96.7% of delegates thought HHSRS is applicable to social housing.
Session Two was delivered by Aico’s Regional Specification Manager for the South, Andrew Sturgess, who delivered a CPD certified presentation on the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. The presentation examined the legislation, practical applications and what it means for the housing sector while looking to innovative solutions.
Keynote speaker, Dorota Pawlowski, conducted Session Three, discussing the legal impact of the Homes Act. As a specialist in all aspects of issues that may face a residential landlord, the session expanded into an insightful discussion surrounding the mitigation of risk and disrepair claims. Through the poll, 64% of delegates expressed they had seen an increase in disrepair claims in recent times.
Dorota Pawlowski comments “It was a pleasure to participate in Aico’s virtual conference on what makes a healthy home and to be able to share my experiences from a legal perspective on the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. It was an honour to share the stage with Dr Stephen Battersby, giving delegates an invaluable insight into how to tackle potential health issues in homes.”
Aico’s Relationships Manager, Tina Mistry, concluded the event by examining the connection between The Decent Homes Standard and the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. With both of the aforementioned currently under review, the session demonstrated how they are connected and what the potential updates could mean for the social housing sector. The poll results displayed that 97% of delegates recognised the connection between the importance of resident engagement and disrepair.
Tina Mistry says of the event, “This event was a great success, and we were pleased to see the vast range of professionals from the housing sector join us for the event. Through polls and question and answer sessions, we saw high levels of engagement with our attendees, and it was good to be able to facilitate thought-provoking discussion with our keynote speakers on what really makes a healthy home. We are looking forward to Part 2 that will take place in November and explore true resident engagement and how we sustain behaviour change.”
The event marked Part One of a two-part conference exploring healthy homes and how technology can support this. Part Two of the conference will take place on Tuesday 2nd November and will examine how empowering and engaging residents to take pride in their home safety and wellbeing can create and sustain behaviour change.