The housing association that failed to treat hazardous mould leading to the tragic death of Awaab Ishak will be stripped of government funding as part of a range of new enforcement measures announced today by Michael Gove.
Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) will not receive its expected £1 million funding from the Affordable Homes Programme (AHP 2021-26) or receive any new AHP contracts for new homes, until the Regulator of Social Housing has concluded its investigation and it can prove it is a responsible landlord.
The government says it will also continue to monitor housing standards of RBH tenancies closely, working with the regulator and Housing Ombudsman, to ensure that tenants have appropriate housing.
As part of a wider crackdown on poor standards, the Housing Secretary will also block any housing provider that breaches the regulator’s consumer standards from new AHP funding until they make improvements.
Gove says he will also consider stripping providers of existing AHP funding, unless construction has already started on site.
The move comes after Michael Gove wrote to all councils and housing associations, saying they must raise the bar dramatically on standards and demanding urgent action where people complain about damp and mould.
The government is also seeking to crackdown on the poor quality of homes in the private rented sector.
It has today awarded a share of £14 million for seven areas with high numbers of poor privately rented homes to crack down on rogue landlords and test new approaches to driving up standards. Projects include:
£2.3 million for Greater Manchester – including Rochdale and surrounding councils – to increase the use of fines where a landlord is found to have committed an offence
£678,000 for Leeds to use behavioural science to change culture among landlords, improving knowledge and skills
£1.14 million for Cornwall to create a database of private rented accommodation in the area and record standards to target better enforcement action.
Housing Secretary Michael Gove said: “RBH failed its tenants so it will not receive a penny of additional taxpayers’ money for new housing until it gets its act together and does right by tenants.
“Let this be a warning to other housing providers who are ignoring complaints and failing in their obligations to tenants. We will not hesitate to act.
“Everyone deserves the right to live in safe, decent home and this government will always act to protect tenants.”