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Minister urged to address “wasted millions” in social housing sector

Gas safety campaigners are calling for a meeting with the housing minister to discuss the “wasted millions spent on gaining access to homes”.

The Association of Gas Safety Managers’ (AGSM) chief executive Claire Heyes said: “We would welcome the opportunity to meet with the minister to explain the statistics about the large amount of money being wasted in the social housing sector. Carrying out the landlord’s safety checks is crucial to raise standards in gas safety, but there is an easier and cheaper way to do this than the current system. The support this campaign is receiving reflects the concern of management in social housing. We urge the minister to meet with us to discuss the way forward.”

It comes after housing minister Brandon Lewis revealed that the Department for Communities and Local Government hadn’t carried out any research into the costs to housing associations that are forced to secure court orders as a last resort to gain access to a property to carry out annual gas safety checks.

Figures from the Gas Access Campaign - spearheaded by Home Group, AGSM and CORGI Technical Services - suggest the issue is one that costs the social housing sector £50m each year.

At present, it can take up to four months for social landlords to gain legal access.

The campaign is lobbying for a change in the law that would allow legal access within 24 hours - the time taken for local authorities to gain access.

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