• September 26, 2023

Mould ‘common and increasing’ issue for city tenants

Mould and damp is a “common and increasing” problem for tenants living in Gloucester, according to an official report. Civic chiefs launched a fact-finding mission earlier this year to better understand the housing conditions of thousands of people in the city.

This was prompted by the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak in Rochdale in December 2020. The coroner linked the child’s death to prolonged exposure to mould in his home environment.

Gloucester City Council’s overview and scrutiny committee set up a task and finishing group to damp and mould in rented accommodation. They quizzed housing providers such as Gloucester City Homes,the Guinness Partnership, Bromford and Rooftop Housing which they say “provided councillors with confidence” in them.

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“It was clear that all social housing providers interviewed were responsive to damp and mould referrals from tenants and had clear reporting and resolution processes in place. The different approaches to annual property inspections were striking. Some social housing providers were willing to go the extra mile and to check in on vulnerable tenants through welfare checks.

“The task and finish group are mindful of staffing pressures; however it was felt that welfare checks were good practice which should be universally adopted.”

However, they also interviewed voluntary advice agencies Citizens Advice or Gloucester Law Centre and both raised concerns. They reported damp and mould was a common and increasing problem for tenants living in Gloucester, certainly in the private rented sector but also in social housing.

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