Thursday, April 03, 2008

Beyond decent homes - rooftop swimming pools for social housing?

We are fast approaching 2010 when the decent homes programme is meant to be (kind of) complete. It will have achieved a significant improvement in the long-neglected council housing sector as well as being used to promote reform and modernisation - not least with the successes of the Arms Length Management Organisation model of managing council homes. But what then?

Vienna's alt-erlaa social housing complex includes rooftop swimming pools. I don't think that will be on the agenda here. (I did not post this on April 1st!)

But local authorities, housing ALMOs and housing associations need to do some thinking about strategy - and some talking to residents. It should be remembered that decent homes is a narrow set of yardsticks and - as the name suggested - pretty limited to the basics of "decency". In the twenty first century I would suggest that having a shower fitted something that residents should be entitled to expect (and arguably it is an environmental prerequisite in water-hungry times).

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