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02 Feb 2023 < Back

The ramifications surrounding damp & mould is set to continue

Housing regulator estimates that at least 80,000 homes provided by councils or housing associations in the UK would fail to meet the decent home standard due to damp and mould.

The last couple of months has seen a significant increase in opportunities to promote members of the PCA as the established experts in dampness, condensation and mould in buildings.

When fuel prices went through the roof this time last year, we predicted that the winter of 2022/23 would be a season where mould and condensation would be prolific and problematic. But who could have known that this almost inevitable uptick in the prevalence of mould in homes, would then be brought into sharp focus by the damning findings of the coroner at the inquest into Awaab Ishak's tragic death. 

The pressure continues for Housing Associations

The pressure was ratcheted up further when Michael Gove wrote to social housing providers telling them they had to sort the issue out – or else! The media have played their part too. Print, electronic and broadcast media have not been slow to name and shame housing providers, sometimes with good cause but sometimes just to chase the story.

Only today (2nd February 2023) the Housing Ombudsman Richard Blakeway has condemned the attitude and culture of some housing providers, alleging that some are actually trying to pay off tenants rather than deal with their problems.To read more from The Housing Ombudsman and their updated damp and mould report, click on the button below:

Housing Ombudsman Report >>

Private landlords and owner occupied properties

Many PCA members have seen a sharp uplift in enquires relating to mould. These have not been limited to dealing with homes managed by councils and housing associations, but include private landlords and a growing number of owner occupied properties.

The PCA's response to the situation has been measured, and constructive. We have known and understood both the scale of the problem and the challenge that comes from trying to realise a fair economic return from mould enquiries.

We have and will contribute to the ongoing debate, promote PCA members through conversation, sector engagement, editorial and advertising. We would also encourage members not to sell themselves short. Good diagnostics, diligent inspections and reliable advice is hard to come by and should be valued technically and commercially.

Training and guidance must be adopted

While focused on the promotion of members interests, your Association will also continue to service the growing demand for training that is coming from the social housing sector. We have developed instruction aimed at helping employees be more aware of the causes and implications of dampness, and to assist housing officers recognise and manage defects and mouldy homes more competently.

Our aim is to upskill and create a level of competence for those employed to manage tenanted properties. The training we deliver can help to improve outcomes for tenants, while giving employees the skills to make better choices and become more decerning clients.

Judging by the ongoing and ever more troubling correspondence now emerging from investigative journalists and media outlets, the storm surrounding the woeful and harmful condition of some homes in the UK is set continue for some time.

The PCA will no doubt continue to comment, contribute and provide opinions while always being mindful that whilst opportunities exist for members and the PCA as a result of this media feeding frenzy, it's tenants, kids, old people and the vulnerable that currently live in horrible conditions that really benefit from what we do.

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