Social Housing

What's the problem?

Social housing is an important aspect of many peoples' lives with 76,000 new social lettings in the first 6 months of 2020/211 - and a total share of 17% of homes across England alone. The rest of the UK has an even higher percentile of social housing; showing a clear need for affordable, accessible homes.

However while the importance of social housing creation continues to increase, what is less considered is the risk of both new and existing social housing being damaged by an escape of water, or being unsuitable for potential tenants due to accessibility requirements.

A traditional brass stopcock suffers from two main issues:

  1. 1. The brass construction of these stopcocks often results in a build-up of limescale, seizing the tap and making it almost impossible to turn.

  2. 2. These victorian-era devices are often built into the structure of the house before fixtures are put in place; so end up being under appliances, behind cupboards, or even beneath the floorboards in some cases!

What are the impacts of this?

The impacts of these two issues are as numerous as they are damaging.

The Association of British Insurers state that water damage is by far the most common cause of claims for households - some £1.8 million per day is paid out in water escape claims; and insurers have responded to this by increasing the excesses on water damage, which brings some of the cost back around to policyholders.

For social housing providers of any kind this can carry significant risk:

  • In the construction industry, the most common risk to new builds is water damage; and excesses can be up to £100,000.
  • Landlords and Housing Associations can see significant water damage to properties that may result in properties being uninhabitable

1. Statistical Release: Housing Social Housing Lettings: April to September 2020, England