The Regulator of Social Housing report sets out how social landlords are approaching the tackling of damp and mould in their tenants’ homes and highlights features of the strongest and weakest approaches so landlords can learn lessons from others in the sector. The regulator expects all social landlords to read the report and use it to inform their approach.
The report found that most social landlords deal with damp and mould effectively and most tenants live in homes that are largely free from damp and mould. However, a small number of landlords gave weaker responses, and the regulator has followed up to scrutinise their approach.
The report identified that better performing landlords manage their data well. They have accurate and up-to-date information about residents’ homes, and use it to find and resolve problems proactively. Strong oversight from boards was also highlighted as essential. Boards should gain assurance that management teams are responding effectively when tenants raise concerns.
We have welcomed this report from the Regulator of Social Housing, which provides a useful overview of how issues of damp and mould are tackled by social landlords.
Since the regulator began getting feedback from social landlords back in December 2022, our sector has been working hard to proactively address these issues around quality. In May the National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing launched a robust and ambitious joint action plan, in collaboration with our housing association members, to deliver on the recommendations of the independent Better Social Housing Review. This plan has an agreed pathway to improving our homes and services.
A key pillar of this work is strengthening the way social landlords collect and use data, both about the condition of their homes and about who lives in them. We welcome that today’s report acknowledges there is widespread good practice in the sector. However, we know we can do better and have launched a new programme of work called Knowing our Homes to address this. This programme will help us establish a shared, standardised approach to gathering and using information about our properties and the needs of our residents to drive improvements.
As a sector we are demonstrating our commitment to tackling quality issues where they exist, but we need to act in partnership with the government. In the short-term we welcome plans to revise the Decent Homes Standard. We also look to all political parties, ahead of the next general election, to commit to a long-term plan for housing which encompasses both the regeneration of existing homes and communities, as well as building urgently needed new social homes.