Housing Repairs Policy

Policy Aim: To put pressure on government to:

(1) Put in place measures to ensure vulnerable and key workers’ homes (or indeed any households) are not left without basic necessities such as:
(i)   Heating
(ii)  Hot Water
(iii) Electricity
(iv)  Essential works to the home, which if unfinished could leave the premises dangerous or insecure

Whilst ensuring adherence to public health guidelines and preventing the spread of COVID.

We will propose to Government that this is done by:

(i)   Clear guidance provided to the industry with suitable, clear definitions. This guidance should be produced in association with the leading trade bodies and consumer protection bodies such as QASSS, FMB, NHIC, CAB, CTSI and WHICH
(ii)  Clear rules for tradespeople on when/how they can visit vulnerable consumers
(iii) Guaranteed exemption from fines for tradespeople responding to the circumstances above
(iv) A fund is made available by government for essential works for vulnerable or key worker consumers. For businesses to access this scheme they would need to be a member of:

  • A CTSI approved code of practice
  • A Trustmark Scheme

We will explore the possibility of an emergency phone line for key workers and vulnerable consumers to provide consumer advice and arrange for remedial works to take place.

Working together:

i)  We are aiming to get support from key partners to amplify messages and share resource, such as FMB, NHIC, CTSI, WHICH, CAB. Great to hear that the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is supporting the campaign.

Tradespeople have an important role to play amid the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that everyone, but especially other key workers and vulnerable people, have access to the utilities they need. I fully support the QASSS proposal that the Government guarantee that tradespeople will not be penalised for carrying out essential works on people’s properties, and the need for clearer guidance regarding how tradespeople can safely enter people’s homes. As we have suggested, only emergency works should be taking place at this time. Everyone is pulling together to get through this pandemic and key tradespeople deserve special recognition for their efforts. 

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB.

ii) Key data from surveys should be shared to help policymakers and key partners to implement the most appropriate courses of action.

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