Awaab's Law to be tabled by government in bid to prevent social housing deaths

Awaab's mother and father spoke publicly for the first time since their son died

Awaab’s Law - in memory of the two-year-old who died in a mould-infested Rochdale flat - will today be tabled by the government. It will be added as an amendment to the Social Housing Bill and will legally force social landlords to fix health hazards within strict time limits.

Awaab Ishak’s parents have been campaigning for the law following the inquest into their son’s death.

Awaab died in December 2020 after living in a flat owned by housing association Rochdale Boroughwide Housing plagued with mould and damp. The family’s pleas for help were ignored.

Awaab’s Law aims to “make sure no other child, or anyone else, dies due to mould in their home”.

The exact time limit on when landlords must legally investigate and carry out repairs will be consulted on.

The family wanted 14 days to investigate and seven days to make repairs.

The estate in Rochdale where Awaab lived.

The consultation will take place later this year to set the time frames. Awaab’s Law will be included in the tenancy agreement between tenant and social landlord and will enshrine in the law the need for councils and housing associations to act quickly.

In a statement shared with ITV News, Awaab's father Faisal Abdullah welcomed the proposed new law, as he sat beside his wife, Aisha Amin, in their first media interview since the death of their son. "We have just finished our meeting with Michael Gove. I am glad to see that there will now be Awaab's law," he said. "We would like to express our thanks to Michael Gove and his team for listening to us and doing the right things. "My wife and I are still struggling to deal with this loss of our son, but we are finally starting to feel like we are being treated fairly". "We hope that Awaab's law will help stop any other family going through that pain we have gone through. We would not wish this pain on anybody."

'We would not wish this pain on anybody,' Awaab's father said

Awaab’s Law will also mean where conditions are so severe that repairs can’t be carried out, tenants are moved into a new property.

Awaab’s Law also called for tenants with a medical note from a health professional saying their health is at risk in the property to be treated as high priority by councils and housing associations.

I’m told that is already the case and so won’t be legislated on again, however I have met dozens and dozens of families with doctor’s notes saying their children’s health is at risk in a squalid home, and they are not moved.

The mould which grew over Awaab Ishak's home in Rochdale.

This is partly because there is often nowhere to move them because of a chronic shortage of social housing.

Stepping back a moment - what is striking about Awaab’s law is it’s simplicity. It is making landlords fix problems quickly. You may ask why that isn’t the law already. Yet again, you may also ask how a two-year-old boy could die from mould in the sixth biggest economy on earth.

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