In full: Watch our exclusive interview with Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick
Words by ITV News Housing Producer Sophie Alexander
The Housing Secretary has condemned housing associations and the pay of bosses as “out of control” in an exclusive interview with ITV News.
Robert Jenrick said social housing needed to go back to its “strong social and moral mission” and “take very seriously the interests of residents.”
He also said the pay of housing association executives was “out of control.”
For six months ITV News has been uncovering the shocking conditions many social housing tenants are forced to live in, and today, for the first time since we started our investigation, Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt got to sit down face to face with the Secretary for Housing.
Watch Daniel Hewitt's report on the mould and damp infesting houses across the country:
Mr Jenrick was shocked when shown a compilation video of residents we have interviewed living in unimaginably terrible conditions, describing it as “shocking, shameful” and “disgusting.”
Those included Fransoy Hewitt, forced to live with her two sons in what was described as the “worst living conditions in the UK” and Junior Jimoh who has a neuro-muscular condition and mould growing all over his flat and next to his ventilator.
Yet Mr Jenrick said that poor quality social housing was nothing to do with budget cuts to councils.
He said: “This is nothing to do with government funding at all. This is about neglect.
"This is about a lack of compassion and poor management in a small number of councils and housing associations.”
When asked about when the government would be publishing its long-anticipated social housing white paper, he could not give a date.
ITV News spoke to Nicole Walters, the mother who filmed her flat ceiling collapse
“The first step was to regulate on safety, that will be followed by a bill that will change regulatory regime so that people can have a better voice,” he said.
Mr Jenrick also agreed to meet with residents that ITV News have been talking to and listen to their concerns.
He said: “Of course I’d be happy to do that, I do that all the time, but Covid has been an unusual period, where it's been much harder to get out and about and talk to residents within their homes."
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