Housing organisation Curo calls for changes to gas laws to protect residents

Housing and support organisation Curo is asking for a change in the law to allow housing associations the same timely access to carry out gas safety checks as their local authority counterparts.

The law rightly commits housing associations like Curo each and every year to check that gas appliances and flues in their properties are safe. This is vital to keep people protected from the threat of gas explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.

The law doesn’t allow social landlords a swift and efficient way to make sure that it can carry out the checks it is legally required to make. It can take Curo as much as four months to follow the due legal process to a point where it has free access to service boilers and carry out other gas safety checks.

In contrast, local authorities can rely on certain powers which are unique to them to gain access quickly and at minimal cost.

Curo Gas Safety Manager, Dean Roberts, says:

“Given that all housing associations and local authorities are equally responsible under the Gas Safety Regulations we believe it is right to explore changing the powers housing associations have. We have written to the MPs for each of the 17 constituencies where we have properties, asking for their support to our calls for a change in the law.”

“We strongly believe that such a change would not only mean that people would be safer, it would also mean a considerable saving – generating money which can be reinvested in our communities and in badly needed new social and affordable homes.”

“At Curo we are 100% compliant in meeting our gas safety obligations across our 12,000 properties, and we pride ourselves on this. But the time and resources involved in pursuing the relatively small number of cases where we cannot gain access is significant.”

To date housing associations collectively owning more than one million properties have put their weight behind the Gas Access campaign, which is being led by the Home Group with the Association of Gas Safety Managers and CORGI Technical Services.

Further information about the campaign is available at www.gasaccesscampaign.org.uk which also sets out arguments and calculations that demonstrate how sensible and appropriate legal changes would reduce waste by close to £0.5bn over the next decade.

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