Housing Secretary Michael Gove has written to Clarion over their recent Housing Ombudsman reports.

It comes as part of the new Social Housing Regulation Bill proposals to “name and shame” landlords who are not performing.

In the letter, Gove says he is writing because of “serious problems with leaks, damp, mould, pest control, communal areas, tenancy succession, and complaint handling”.

He says he will now “take personal and direct interest” in how the housing association handles the case moving forwards.

The letter reads: “No one should have to live in a home with these conditions — and it should not take years to put them right. I am deeply disappointed that as one of the largest social housing landlords, who should be setting an example, you have not been able to meet fundamental standards for your tenants. It is extremely concerning for there to be two such serious cases in quick succession.

“I expect you to take every step necessary to address the issues raised, including adhering to the orders and recommendations of the Ombudsman.

“I fully support the decision by the Ombudsman to conduct a further investigation into this matter, under paragraph 50 of the Housing Ombudsman’s scheme, and will pay close attention to their findings.

“I also note with concern Clarion’s decision to respond to this worrying report by criticising aspects of the Ombudsman’s statement. The focus in response to Ombudsman reports such as this must be on putting things right and learning lessons so that some of the most vulnerable in our society get the housing and support they need. A defensive response is completely the wrong approach.

“The government has been clear how important it is that social housing residents can put trust in their landlords to provide a decent home and deal with complaints effectively. The upcoming social housing regulation bill will bring in a tough new regulatory regime to support this.

“For my part, I am prepared to take any steps necessary, whether through regulatory or funding mechanisms, to drive up standards and hold landlords responsible for providing social housing residents with decent housing.

“In light in light of the Ombudsman’s report, and Clarions response to it, I intend to take a personal and direct interest in your association’s approach to housing conditions, engagement with residents and vulnerable complainants in particular.”