Damp and mould: How we’re responding
18 January 2023
A combination of the age and condition of older social housing properties, and the climate we experience in the UK, has contributed to thousands of homes across the country being at greater risk of damp and mould.
The social housing sector needs to do more to address the problems caused by damp and mould. We have a duty to provide safe, secure and good quality homes for our customers, and we will do more to tackle these problems.
The heart-breaking death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak in Rochdale in October 2020, and the subsequent inquest finding that his death was caused by prolonged exposure to damp and mould in the social housing flat he lived in, has shamed the housing sector.
It’s imperative that all housing associations learn from the mistakes that have been made and respond by doing everything we can to help our customers, working together to address any issues as soon as possible.
The ongoing cost of living crisis has the potential to make damp and mould problems even more severe, which makes it even more crucial that we respond quickly and thoroughly.
What we’re doing
The Regulator for Social Housing is rightfully scrutinising housing associations to ensure we’re responding to damp and mould appropriately. We welcome this scrutiny and have made some significant changes to ensure we’re doing everything we can to prevent and tackle cases of damp or mould.
This includes prioritising work by gaining greater understanding of the condition of our properties and the challenges our customers face, closely monitoring the performance of our contractors, and introducing a damp and mould taskforce made up of colleagues focused on this issue.
We also plan to allocate more of our budget and bid for funding that will help us improve ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens, install more efficient heating and improved loft insulation.
We know that we won’t be able to resolve these issues overnight but by taking these steps, we’ll have a greater understanding of what we need to do to tackle them.