A BODY representing dozens of social landlords has thrown its weight behind the campaign to improve gas safety.
The National Federation of Arms Length Management Organisations (NFA) has backed the Gas Access Campaign which is calling for a more efficient system of gas servicing for social landlords.
The NFA is the trade body for 47 ALMOs which manage more than 650,000 homes.
The Gas Access Campaign is being spearheaded by Home Group with the Association of Gas Safety Managers and CORGI Technical Services and is calling for social housing providers to be granted the same rights of entry as local authorities to carry out annual gas safety checks.
Local authorities can obtain a court order granting access within 24 hours of refusal by a tenant. Social housing providers can take as long as four months. The disparity is estimated to cost the sector £50m each year.
Eamon McGoldrick, NFA managing director, said: “The NFA is very pleased to support this campaign. The safety of residents in social housing is paramount and all landlords should have the same powers to gain access, where appropriate, to complete gas servicing.”
Claire Heyes, chief executive of the AGSM said: “The NFA is a welcome addition to the considerable support that the Gas Access Campaign has secured. To make the changes that are so badly needed, we need the support of landlords, tenants, suppliers to the sector and the professional associations that represent these stakeholders. We are confident that, working together, the momentum that we gained in 2014 will continue to gather pace during 2015. The support of all key stakeholders is vital to bring about much needed change.”
Mark Henderson, Home Group chief executive, said: “The support of the NFA adds weight to the Gas Access Campaign’s call for parity on rights of access.”
“The Gas Access Campaign wants to see a simplified right of entry which would be available to all those providing social housing. The current system is costly financially and has the potential to be costly in terms of lives. The dangers from faulty gas appliances are obvious and that’s why landlords are rightly required to conduct annual checks. It’s also right that landlords should be given powers to do this in a timely manner.”
The Gas Access Campaign has attracted support from more than 160 social housing providers representing more than 1.5m homes. In addition support has come from London Mayor Boris Johnson, Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds, London Councils and British Gas.
To sign up to the campaign and put your name to a petition calling on the Government to alter the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 visit: www.gasaccesscampaign.org.uk
To sign the Gas Access petition visit: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/68910