Tai Pawb and TPAS Cymru welcome change to flooring provision in social housing quality standards

Written by Tai Pawb

In the revised Welsh Housing Quality Standards (WHQS) – due to be launched by the end of October – the framework outlines that “at change of tenancy, all habitable rooms… located within the home should have suitable floor coverings”. Under the existing framework – which has been in place since 2002 – there has been no expectation that social housing providers would supply new flooring in areas other than kitchens and bathrooms, meaning many homes have floor coverings removed and are left without a suitable covering when newly-let.

In 2020, we published a paper alongside TPAS Cymru , highlighting the impact of a lack of flooring on tenants. In a survey carried out at the time, social tenants reported that the cost of purchasing flooring themselves was prohibitive while homes lacked warmth and safety. Further, health issues were cited such as breathing difficulties and depression, while tenants with children highlighted safety problems with hard concrete or wooden flooring, including splinters. The report made a series of recommendations, calling on social housing providers to consider grants for flooring, options for tenants to keep existing floor coverings and for Welsh Government to undertake a review of WHQS to include the provision of appropriate flooring.


Chief Executive of Tai Pawb, Alicja Zalesinska said:

“The research we undertook three years ago clearly demonstrated the negative impacts of a lack of flooring in certain homes – not least in warmth, comfort and safety. We are pleased to have worked in collaboration with social housing providers across Wales, using tenants’ feedback to directly influence a change in policy and to ensure flooring provision is a standard in its own right.

The launch of our Compendium of Practice is testament to the tenacity and ambition of those providers, and we hope that the sharing of ‘what works’ – as well as overcoming barriers – is useful in shaping individual policies moving forward.”


Three years on, we have launched a new paper to highlight practice among social landlords in both keeping existing flooring within properties as well as providing new flooring. ‘Floored: a practice compendium’ is the culmination of partnership work where social landlords across Wales have shared case studies on piloting and adopting new practice in the provision of flooring.

  • North Wales-based housing association, Clwyd Alyn, has piloted vinyl flooring in void properties before re-letting, fewer empty properties, less anti-social behaviour and an improvement in well-being.
  • Monmouthshire Housing Association initially trialed new flooring in newly-let flats; buoyed by positive feedback, including improved tenant satisfaction and quicker turn-around times, the scheme has been rolled-out to all new-lets under its ‘void gold standard’.
  • Pobl Group, meanwhile, has gradually increased its pilot from 22 homes to 226 in the last three years, also with positive feedback from tenants and colleagues carrying out neighbourhood roles; where possible, existing flooring is retained for new customers.
  • Swansea-based social landlord, Caredig, piloted a ‘Homes not Houses’ scheme and evaluated tenant satisfaction in homes without flooring, with retained flooring and with new flooring, the latter showing a much greater sense of satisfaction. Homes that have benefitted from the scheme have also seen a reduction in rent arrears, repair requests and antisocial behaviour. The pilot has now been formerly adopted and forms part of its pre-tenancy work as standard.


Elizabeth Taylor,  Policy Lead for TPAS Cymru:

We warmly welcome the addition of flooring provision as part of the wider standards framework. Over the last three years, we have been encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response from social housing providers keen to tackle the issue.

From the recommendations made in the initial paper, through to the launch of today’s report, a clear pathway is provided for social landlords. By continuing to work with key partners, tenants can benefit from a feeling of safety and security brought about by suitable flooring in their home.”


Read FLOORED: 3 Years On here:



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