The government has provided the second in a series of updates on its work to improve the quality of social housing in the UK.
In its January update, the government said it was making progress on ensuring cases like Awaab Ishak’s do “not happen again”, improving the quality of social housing in the north of England, and giving residents a louder voice.
Awaab Ishak was the two-year-old boy who died in December 2020 following exposure to damp and mould in his parents’ one-bed flat, which they were renting from Rochdale Boroughwide Housing.
In the latest update, for February, the government said it has continued to progress reforms to raise the standard of social housing in the UK, particularly following the conclusion of the investigation into Awaab’s death at the end of last year.
On 9 February, Housing Secretary Michael Gove tabled an amendment to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill for ‘Awaab’s Law’.
The amendment will require social landlords to fix hazards, such as damp and mould, in their homes within strict time limits.
Gove also met with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing to discuss improvements it is making to its governance and services, in response to failings that led to the death of Awaab Ishak.
The government continues to block funding to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing to build new homes “until it can prove it is a responsible landlord”.
Meanwhile, the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill continues its passage through Parliament.
Also in February, the government tabled an amendment to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill, which will require all social housing managers to have a professional qualification.
Around 25,000 social housing managers will now be required to have an appropriate level housing management qualification regulated by OfQual equivalent to a Level 4 or 5 Certificate or Diploma in Housing, or a foundation degree from the Chartered Institute of Housing.
The changes will be made through amendments to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill.
The government is due to publish another update on the work it is doing to improve the quality of social housing at the end of March.
Image credit: Jakub Junek/Shutterstock
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