Councils ought to be free to shift the focus of housing funds from upgrading individual houses to the Decent Homes standard to upgrading entire estates, a survey of the housing industry has revealed.

Nearly 90% of respondents in a working party survey set up by Pricewaterhouse Coopers said mixed and sustainable communities ought to be the focus in future.

This could eventually lead to the scrapping of the Decent Homes standard, as predicted by Building in April. Nearly 60% of those asked said they did not feel that Decent Homes would deliver sustainable change. Furthermore, 62% said it was time to switch the focus of housing investment.

Ninety-nine per cent of respondents agreed that greater collaboration between the public and private sectors was needed to improve value for money in the delivery of housing programmes, and 75% believed the government was right to encourage more competition.

Further findings from From Decent Homes to Great Places are as follows:

  • 74% believe the Decent Homes standard will only be partially met
  • 94% think more flexible funding streams are required
  • 79% said procurement ought to be streamlined.
Richard Parker, a director at PWC, said: "We need to focus investment on mixed communities and make housing policy about creating great places."