Comprehensive damp and mould actions
Adullam welcomes the announcement that guidance to landlords in England over mould and damp health risks will be reviewed, following the tragic death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak.
The toddler died from a respiratory condition caused by exposure to mould at his Rochdale home, an inquest found.
Following a coroner asking the Government to take action to prevent further deaths, the housing and health secretaries have now said new guidance will come in summer.
At present, smaller providers, including Adullam, are expected to self-regulate, but nevertheless are responsible for managing any risk associated with damp and mould.
Over the past two years Adullam has completed a varied range of actions to mitigate any current or future risks associated with damp or mould in its properties.
In Spring 2021, its Finance and Audit Risk Management (FARM) Committee instructed the Asset Team to carry out a full review of its disrepair policies and procedures, including damp and mould.
Using current stock condition information a plan was produced to ensure all our properties meet a minimum energy performance (EPC) rating of “C” by 2025. We are pleased to report that nearly 80% of our accommodation already does.
In 2022 Adullam contacted every tenant via text message, reinforcing the necessity for them to get in contact if their accommodation had any damp or mould-related problems. All repairs raised since January 2022 where damp or mould had been reported were visited and re-inspected.
Additional training for contact centre and front-line staff on how to diagnose and recognise damp or mould within a property has been delivered.
Every local authority with which Adullam works has received a letter advising them of the preventative measures taken. Awareness-raising has also been done via Adullam’s website, with the creation of a hints and tips leaflet, and an article for tenant, resident and service user (TRS) newsletters with details of how to report and how to reduce condensation within their accommodation.
The way in which TRS now report damp or mould has been revised, with a specific cost centre to enable future issues to be monitored.
A Maintenance Supervisor has been appointed to carry out property inspections within the West Midlands where we have many dispersed properties.
Commenting on the comprehensive actions, Adullam’s Executive Director of Housing and Support Ged Riley said: “Our TRS, commissioners and partners can be assured that Adullam is proactively managing all damp and mould-related repairs and we will seek to further improve the quality of our accommodation through planned continuous investment.”