01 March 2013
Islanders are being asked for their views on housing conditions, and domestic fuel and power use, and how they can affect people’s physical health and social and mental wellbeing as a consultation into the Public Health and Safety (Dwellings) Jersey Law 201- is launched by the Health and Social Services Department.
There is a seminar tomorrow (Tuesday 5 March) at the Town Hall in St. Helier at 6.30pm so that anyone who is interested can hear more about how the proposed law may affect them.
Val Cameron, Head of Health Protection Services, said "The key principle of the law is that any residential premises should provide a safe and healthy environment for any potential occupier. The home is central to life and fulfils the human need for shelter. It also meets the human desires for comfort, security, privacy, independence and personal identity and is central to achieving health and wellbeing."
Inadequate housing conditions can cause health problems with the following two categories of health risk which are:
Cold and dampness, indoor pollutants, poor design quality and safety hazards are some of the housing related problems that may lead to excess winter deaths, the prevalence of asthma and other respiratory diseases and accidental injury. The risk of fatality in premises which have inadequate fire precautions and means of escape where accommodation is shared.
Social and mental wellbeing
Problems such as noise, overcrowding and the feeling of being ‘trapped’ in poor quality accommodation can affect mental health and apply pressure to social wellbeing.
Mrs Cameron added "The draft law will change the way dwellings are inspected to a risk-based approach which determines the hazards and how likely injury or illness is to occur. This system is based on a huge amount of data on the reasons for hospital admissions in the UK and the links to poor housing conditions. We look forward to receiving the views of Islanders on this important topic.
"The passing of the new law will be subject to the usual political processes, once we have taken on board feedback received during this public consultation process."