Resident-led panel to improve social housing launches

File photo dated 19/08/14 of a view of houses in Thamesmead, south east London Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

More than 250 social housing tenants will meet for the launch of an official resident-led panel to improve unsafe conditions.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove declared an end to tenants being “denied a proper voice” ahead of the group that will advise his department’s policy meeting on Saturday.

Mr Gove is undertaking a crackdown on unsafe social housing after two-year-old Awaab Ishak died from a respiratory condition linked to prolonged exposure to mould.

Minister for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

“This Government will not stand for any tenant being mistreated and we are acting to ensure they get the safe and decent homes they deserve,” the minister said.

“For too long, tenants have been denied a proper voice – this ends today.

“Our new residents panel will ensure that tenants are at the heart of reforms to social housing.

“I look forward to working with the panel to drastically raise the standard of social housing across the country.”

The resident-led panel, which will meet online, was announced long before the coroner’s ruling over Awaab’s death, but it is hoped the members could shape policy to alleviate unsafe conditions.

On Thursday, Mr Gove blocked £1 million in funding for Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), the housing association that owned the flat where Awaab lived, and vowed to do the same to other failing landlords as he warned at least tens of thousands of homes were unsafe because of damp and mould.