Citizens Advice response to the Marmot review team's report on the health impacts of cold homes and fuel poverty
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice said:
"Every year Citizens Advice Bureaux deal with thousands of enquiries from clients whose landlords are failing to maintain their homes to an acceptable standard. Too many private sector tenants are living in cold homes that are hugely expensive to heat. We know that many of these people really struggle to afford their fuel bills. This latest research from the Marmot review team shows that living in a cold home not only causes people money worries but that it has a devastating impact on their physical and mental health too.
“We warmly welcome the Government's recent announcement that from 2018 the rental of the very coldest properties will be banned through a minimum energy efficiency standard. In the meantime it is essential that tenants who demand reasonable energy efficiency measures from landlords are given protection against eviction. Protecting tenants’ health cannot be left to chance."
Notes to editors
- The research was carried out for Friends of the Earth by the Marmot review team at University College London, led by Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health Sir Michael Marmot [www.marmotreview.org], who is also current President of the British Medical Association and the author of 2010’s major health inequalities review ‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’. You can read the full report ‘The Health Impacts of Cold Homes and Fuel Poverty’ here: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/cold_homes_health.pdf
- The report is sponsored by: Citizens Advice, Save the Children, National Children’s Bureau, National Energy Action, UK Public Health Association, Climate and Health Council, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.
- Citizens Advice is calling on the Government to use the Energy Bill currently going through Parliament to introduce a minimum energy efficiency standard for the Private Rented Sector. We believe the Bill must set a deadline of no later than 2016 after which it will be an offence for a landlord to re-let or market for rent a property in England and Wales which is an EPC band F or G, and a date before 2020 by which it will become an offence to let a property of EPC band E or lower.
- The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more information in England and Wales see www.citizensadvice.org.uk
- The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality. For online advice and information see www.adviceguide.org.uk
- Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 7.1 million problems from April 2009 to March 2010, an 18% increase on the previous year. For full 2009/2010 service statistics see: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/press_20100517
- Out of 22 national charities, the Citizens Advice service is ranked by the general public as being the most helpful, approachable, professional, informative, effective / cost effective, reputable and accountable. (nfpSynergy’s Brand Attributes survey, May 2010).
- Most Citizens Advice service staff are trained volunteers, working at around 3,300 service outlets across England and Wales.