Joint statement - damp and mould assessment
Cllr Peray Ahmet, Leader of Haringey Council, and Cllr Dana Carlin, Cabinet Member for Housing Services, Private Renters and Planning, have issued a joint statement around damp and mould issues following the tragic death of youngster Awaab Ishak in Rochdale.
We were all horrified to hear of the death of Awaab Ishak who sadly passed away as a result of damp and mould in his home not being properly addressed.
We want all our residents to know that we take this issue very seriously and that we are working hard to get a full assessment of the position in Haringey – in our council homes, for those in temporary accommodation, but also in the private rented sector locally. The safety of our residents is, and always will be, our number one priority and rest assured we are taking every measure possible to improve housing standards across the borough.
That said, we know that there are residents living in Haringey council homes today with damp and mould issues which should have been resolved more effectively or quickly. We are deeply sorry for this. This isn’t good enough and we are committed to improving the situation as rapidly as we can.
We also know that it matters to residents how they feel our staff and contractors respond to them when they raise issues of disrepair, including damp and mould. We are absolutely committed to listening to our tenants, working with you, and making sure that you understand what is happening at every stage of your repair.
For tenants in our council homes, and in temporary accommodation, we are putting in place a set of urgent actions to identify the most serious cases and take action to resolve them as quickly as we can. This includes:
- Reviewing all of our policies and procedures relating to damp and mould in our tenants’ homes to ensure that they reflect the concerns raised by the coroner. We will ensure that our residents feel listened and responded to when they have damp and mould issues in their properties.
- Reviewing all existing reported cases of condensation, damp, and mould and what additional interventions can be made to address and resolve the issues.
- Investigating all repair cases over the past 2 years where there could be an issue with damp and mould. Tenants will be contacted to assess the issue and whether any further works or action are required.
- Exploring where new technology and equipment which detects or reduces the impact of damp and mould can be used; whilst we are resolving the root cause of the problem.
- Further training has already been undertaken within the repairs team in the past year, however we will be providing additional training to improve diagnostic of damp and mould issues.
- Providing training to all staff who visit tenants in their homes to ensure that whenever we visit residents, we are able to identify the early signs of damp and mould and respond quickly.
- Working with temporary accommodation providers to ensure identified problems are dealt with quickly and effectively.
We know that damp and mould are also an issue in the private rented sector. We are determined to improve private rented housing standards and have been taking steps for some time to do this including introducing both HMO and selective property licensing schemes. In addition, we will:
- Inspect approximately 12,000 privately rented, single family homes to assess for property condition through targeted inspections programmes and spot check assessments.
- Aim to inspect 100% of licensed HMO premises over the next two years. More than 1,000 inspections already completed.
- Respond to 100% of complaints regarding damp and mould in order to assess the cause and provide appropriate remedies. Enforcement action will be taken against those property owners who fail to comply. We will prioritise inspection of these complaints.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will be meeting with residents affected by these issues to hear about your experiences and to enable you to be part of getting this issue right in the future.
See also: Help with damp and mould in your home
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