A campaign to improve gas safety for millions of people has reached a significant milestone.
Landlords representing more than two million homes have now signed up to the Gas Access Campaign.
More than 270 supporters are now backing the campaign, which aims to improve the gas safety of people living in or near to social housing.
The two million homes point was reached when Sheffield City Council, which represents almost 41,000 properties, signed up. There are now 200 housing providers backing the campaign with support also being pledged from local authorities, MPs, trade bodies, Peers and London Mayor Boris Johnson.
The campaign is being spearheaded by Home Group with the Association of Gas Safety Managers (AGSM) and CORGI Technical Services.
The campaign hopes to correct a deficiency in the law, which prevents housing associations from gaining entry to tenants’ homes in a timely manner if tenants deny them access.
The issue is estimated to cost the sector £50 million each year.
Mark Henderson, Home Group chief executive, said:
“The Gas Access Campaign continues to gather support from those within the sector who realise this is a costly issue for all social housing providers. Landlords representing two million homes is a significant figure. Gaining access to properties to ensure the safety of our tenants and their neighbours can be a challenge to all. The current legislation doesn’t give social landlords the powers they need to ensure the safety of tenants and their neighbours from faulty boilers or flues when we are refused access.”
Currently, local authorities are able to apply to a court to gain lawful entry into homes within 24 hours of refusal by a tenant. Housing associations can take as long as four months to legally gain entry to a property. The Gas Access Campaign wants to simplify the process for both sectors.
Claire Heyes, chief executive of the AGSM, said:
“Gaining access to carry out statutory obligations and maintain safety standards should not be this difficult. The time for change is long overdue and the high level of sign-up reflects the concern expressed by all stakeholders. We will continue to push for this to be higher on the political agenda – waste on this scale is unnecessary and unacceptable, especially when fuel poverty is so prevalent and the safety of tenants and staff is being compromised.”
To sign up to the campaign and put your name to a petition calling on the government to alter the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 visit: www.gasaccesscampaign.org.uk
To sign the Gas Access petition visit: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/68910