Damp and Mould - Officer update
That Committee received an extensive progress report on Islington’s damp, mould and condensation from Jed Young, the Acting Corporate Director of Homes & Neighbourhood and the following points were highlighted:–
Meeting was advised that of the 3,471 properties that had reported damp and mould issues between January 2020 to Dec 2022, contact has been attempted with 2772 and actual contact has been with 1,626 households.
1152 have indicated that they do not have damp and mould in their properties, 474 do have damp and mould in their properties which would require a visit for a diagnostic survey and of these 212 jobs have now been completed, 42 are in progress, 175 are pending works, 44 are either with the surveyor not been able to gain access to the property, some are duplicate or works are no longer required, and one has been referred to the legal team.
In addition to the above, the Director advised that further qualitative analysis on resident feedback will be analysed which will be used to improve services.
Meeting was informed that additional data of tenants in properties, who have reported damp and mould, known to Adult Social Care and Children’s Social Services has been approved, that the Service is currently in the process of adding this to this to the existing dataset. This will improve the Service’s understanding of risk factors and guide service delivery.
Further work is underway to understand a deeper understanding of demographics and disproportionality.
Meeting was advised that after internal officer consultation, Tenancy and Property Audit will now be called Tenancy and Property Visits.
During March and April 2023 a pilot of the above work has been conducted at Halton Mansions to review its impact related to tenants and on services, results of which are in the process of analysis, this will be available at the next meeting of the Committee.
All Islington tenants within the 152 properties and nine block have been sent a letter about the visits and that so far approximately 60 tenanted households have completed the form, with further appointments booked for visits over the next couple weeks, due to tenants receiving a letter and providing a suitable time for a visit.
In addition to the above, Leaseholders are invited to join the Community drop-in sessions.
Initial officer feedback has shown that officer visits have been positively received by tenants, that a further community drop-in session for Halton Mansions, where it is presently being piloted was held on 20th April 2023.
Results from the Housing Allocations Policy consultation, which closed on the 17th March 2023 has now been analysed and will be presented to Corporate Management Board after which it will be considered at the July Executive meeting, that 950 responses were received from residents, as well as 81 partner organisations also responded with only 10% of partners not supporting the proposed changes.
Meeting was informed of the training programme offered to technical and non-technical housing officers is well underway so as to bring awareness of damp and mould and well as customer care
Trauma informed training is an established course delivered by Homeless Link with on-going training for Housing officers.
Further training is being scoped for staff outside the Homes and Neighbourhoods department to bring a better understanding and awareness to officers who have contact with residents.
Briefings of damp, condensation and mould are being included in induction packs and presentations to existing and new staff.
Islington Council hosted the Meet the Housing Ombudsman event on 30th March 2023. 150 people attended the event online and in-person.
The special investigation of the Housing Ombudsman continues with officer meetings to start at the end of April 2023, results which will be due in September 2023.
Meeting was informed that KPIs are being refined, that member feedback will be welcomed, noting local authorities are still awaiting guidance from central government on some of the indicators, that the draft KPIs stated in the report have been shared for comment with Housing Quality Network who have been commissioned to be Homes and Neighbourhoods critical friend.
The five largest Housing Associations operating in Islington will be attending the June 2023 Housing Scrutiny meeting to highlight their programmes on addressing this issue and their performances on a range of housing related issues.
Learning and best practice continues to take place with other local authorities and Registered Social Landlords, as well as London Councils, Housing Quality Network and other professional bodies.
The progress on the damp and mould programme continues to be shared at various boards across the council including the council’s leadership, safeguarding boards and Islington Housing Group etc.
Technical equipment, like sensors and other early intervention and prevention tools, are being scoped for procurement.
The Chair welcomed the
progress of the team, noting that going forward it is imperative
that officers take a deep analysis of the causes of damp and mould
acknowledging that at this stage it is understandable that officers
are keen at present on remedying and repairing historical cases as
this will assist the Committee reassure resident’s that their
concerns are being addressed.
That the update on damp and mould be noted.
- Damp condensation and mould update report - Housing Scrutiny Committee - 9th May 2023 updated, item 70. PDF 164 KB