Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) 2023

Following our recent articles on the consultation of WHQS 2023, Welsh Government have now released the full guidance for maintaining and improving social housing in Wales. This is welcoming news to the sector providing an update standard from the original one that was introduced in 2002 and then the revised one in 2008.

From reading the standard it is really encouraging Welsh Government have listened to the feedback from the sector and have aligned it with the ORP strategy.  They (Welsh Government) have said that WHQS 2023 is a tenant focused Standard, designed to upgrade social homes in a way that contributes to positive health, education and wellbeing outcomes for tenants.

Here is a link to the new standard – welsh-housing-quality-standard-2023.pdf (gov.wales)

The purpose of the Welsh Housing Quality Standard is to ensure that all social housing in Wales is of good quality. All social homes must:

  1. Be in a good state of repair
  2. Be safe and secure
  3. Be affordable to heat and have minimal environmental impact
  4. Have an up-to-date kitchen and utility area
  5. Have an up-to-date bathroom
  6. Be comfortable and promote wellbeing
  7. Have a suitable garden
  8. Have an attractive outside space.

One of the major changes is that the landlords must carry out a Whole Stock Assessment and produce Target Energy Pathways for their homes (3d).

A Whole Stock Assessment is a review of a landlord’s stock condition and energy efficiency data, software and data analytical skills with the purpose of gaining sufficient understanding of their current housing stock.A Target Energy Pathway identifies measures that can lead to the decarbonisation of an individual dwelling such that it can be heated by a low carbon heating system at affordable cost.

One of the other major changes is that at change of tenancy all habitable rooms (bedrooms and living rooms), staircases and landings located within the home should have suitable floor coverings (6b). This is an addition to the floor covering for the Kitchen and Bathroom areas that was in the last standard.

Landlords will be expected to ensure that all their homes reach a fabric-based EPC band C by 2029.

Here at CHIC we have different routes to market to help with these changes.

Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS)

We have four bespoke Wales Retrofit ORP DPSs. These cover consultancy, installations, materials and compliance.  They cover all the areas of decarbonisation works that the sector require.

The advantages to using our DPSs

  • Contractors and suppliers can join at any time
  • Easier for SME’s/ Micro SMEs to participate
  • If leaseholder consultation is required for a project, then the DPS still enables an efficient route to market
  • Flexible as the market and technology changes

As well as the four dedicated DPSs. We offer over 17 route to market DPS solutions that will cover all avenues for social housing.

A full list can be found here – Dynamic Purchasing System – Communities & Housing Investment Consortium (chicltd.co.uk)

Some of them are.

  • Fire Protection and Sprinkler Systems
  • All Under One Roof – these have lots such as Electrical, Insulation, Roofing
  • Furniture and Floor Coverings
  • Merchant Services

Frameworks

We currently have 19 frameworks that are available to the sector.  We are in the process of adding two new ones to our portfolio. A newbuild framework which is currently going through evaluation and a new decarbonisation framework called Healthy Homes Framework.

Healthy Homes Framework is currently out for contractors and suppliers to bid on with a current closing date of 12th January 2023.

Here is the link to find the  tender for more information

https://www.find-tender.service.gov.uk/Notice/034414-2023

If you know any Welsh contractors and suppliers that would be interested in joining, please share this information with them or contact us below.

A full list of our frameworks can be found here – Frameworks – Communities & Housing Investment Consortium (chicltd.co.uk)

Some of the most popular ones are

  • Building Works
  • Consultancy
  • Active Fire and Security
  • Windows & Doors
  • Multiple Elements of the Built Environment

If you would like more information on how CHIC can help your organisation do not hesitate to contact Jackie Leonard – Head of Member Services (Wales) – [email protected] or Katie Carey – Head of Commercial Services – [email protected]

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