Aico has recently welcomed the Housing Ombudsman Service to an online event focusing on damp and mould in the housing sector and best practices to keep residents safe.
“A Spotlight on Damp and Mould: It’s not lifestyle” report, published in October 2021 placed the responsibility for resolving poor quality housing in the hands of social landlords. The report provided 26 recommendations for landlords to assess their approach to resolving cases of damp and mould. In February 2023, The Housing Ombudsman published a follow up report to provide insight into landlords’ responses to the 2021 report. This new report included a number of actions that landlords have taken as a result, including improving surveying equipment, the use of sensor technology, resident facing apps and the use of an online dashboard, such as the HomeLINK Connected Solution.
Following the reports, HomeLINK’s Sustainability & Ethics Lead, Sam Collier, welcomed Victoria King, Sector Learning and Development Lead for the Housing Ombudsman Service and Mark England, Head of Innovation, Sustainability and Procurement for Coastline Housing. The panel also welcomed Alan Park, Compliance and Systemic Investigations Manager at the Housing Ombudsman Service for an engaging and thought-provoking Q and A session.
With over 500 attendees, Sam Collier opened the event giving an overview and timeline of the increased efforts to prevent damp and mould cases by the sector as a whole and highlighted the work yet to be done. Victoria King presented on the “It’s not lifestyle” report one year on, highlighting a need for a change in culture and The Housing Ombudsman’s recommendations. Victoria was followed by Mark England, who shared Coastline Housings approach to the report, highlighting the use of data and a proactive approach.
HomeLINK’s Sustainability & Ethics Lead, Sam Collier who hosted the session commented “Aico decided to host the Housing Ombudsman Service (HOS) on this webinar as we believe we all have a part to play in tackling damp and mould in the sector. We know our customers are facing a huge uphill task to improve the condition of their housing stock, and this event provided some excellent insight into what steps they can take to make progress in this area. It’s great to see the HOS providing recommendations around innovative tools such as sensors, dashboards and resident apps to enhance the data landlords have about the condition of their properties, so they can make better informed decisions, and improve the health of their homes and the wellbeing of their residents. The example provided by Coastline Housing showed the impact these approaches are already having, and hopefully one other landlords can follow.”
Victoria King, Sector Learning and Development Lead for the Housing Ombudsman added “In our damp and mould report, we said that landlords need to have a sustained focus on culture and behaviours to ensure issues are not dismissed. This event helps the sector to do that, and we highlighted our recommendations again, including the need for landlords to develop a damp and mould strategy and for landlords to implement a proactive communications strategy. Whilst we know this is now a priority for many landlords, especially for those attending events such as this, we urge senior leaders to go faster and further in their efforts to do what is right by their residents.”
This event was the first in a miniseries being hosted by the market leader on damp and mould. In the next webinar on May 10th, HomeLINK’s Product Manager, Jordan Toulson, will take an in depth look at a case study surrounding damp and mould, what approach the landlord has taken and how technology can support. To register for the next event, please visit: https://bit.ly/3TCPcZb