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RHE Global and HHSRS Review: A Big Thank You, By Alan Davies, Director of Housing

8th February 2023 The Housing App

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the review of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System!

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) was introduced by the Housing Act 2004 and has remained unchanged since its introduction in April 2006. The system works by assessing the potential risk of harm to an actual or potential occupants from their living environment and assigning a severity rating to any hazards identified. 

In October 2018, the government announced that the HHSRS would be reviewed and commissioned RHE Global to undertake a scoping review. The HHSRS Scoping Review (RHE, 2019) concluded that, while there was considerable support for the strong links between health and housing that the HHSRS provides, all stakeholders would welcome simplification of the assessment process. The Government commissioned RHE to undertake Phase 2 of the HHSRS Review, delivering the project through the nine “outputs” and an overarching workstream in respect of the fire hazard. 

RHE’s project delivery team consisted of highly experienced and specialist Chartered EHPs, academics, and housing and industry experts, including three partner universities, namely Cardiff Metropolitan University, the University of Bristol and Middlesex University. We thank all those who contributed to the two-year research project, working tirelessly for the duration of the two-year research project to deliver on the recommended reforms to the system.   

Extensive stakeholder consultation was also undertaken using a multi-method approach to engagement. Over 1,000 stakeholders with specialist experience and relevant interest in the HHSRS and associated housing conditions contributed to the consultation, representing all regions within England, and beyond. We again thank all those across the housing sector who gave their valuable time to providing feedback. Stakeholder engagement has been critical to the success of this review and shaping the future direction of the HHSRS. 

RHE and the project delivery team have now concluded the research and provided the Government with the findings, recommendations, associated reports and proposed HHSRS guidance documents. Following extensive literature reviews, stakeholder engagement, user testing and consultation with Government and across the sector, proposals covering 10 outputs and works streams have been submitted to inform each of the following themes and output requirements:

  • Reviewed and updated HHSRS Operating Guidance
  • Updated comprehensive set of worked examples (WEs)
  • Review of HHSRS training requirements and competency frameworks
  • Simpler means of banding the results of HHSRS assessments
  • New minimum standards for incorporation into the HHSRS assessment process
  • Assessment of the amalgamation or removal of existing hazard profiles
  • Identification of what a HHSRS digital assessment tool would achieve
  • Reviewed and updated guidance for landlords and property-related professionals, and the introduction of separate guidance for tenants
  • Reviewed and updated HHSRS Enforcement Guidance
  • Review of the “Fire Hazard” 

The Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) will now be considering our findings and recommendations from this Review to inform the next stages of the reform of the system. Thank you again for all your support during the research project which we are confident will deliver on a robust and future-proofed housing health and safety rating system for the benefit of all stakeholders and practitioners.

By Alan Davies, Director of Housing

For more information on how RHE Global can support with your housing requirements, contact