Gove sends warning letters to poor-performing social landlords

Housing secretary Michael Gove has admonished 10 housing associations and local councils where the Housing Ombudsman found severe maladministration.

The social landlords warned are Manchester City Council, Newham Council, Stevenage Borough Council and seven housing associations, including second warnings to Metropolitan Thames Valley Homes​ and Hyde Housing.

One case included an “uninhabitable property” let by Manchester City Council that was riddled with damp and mould, a rotten floor and a dangerous garden path.

The latest letters are part of more than 30 reprimands Gove has sent since August to social landlords where the Housing Ombudsman has found severe failings in their properties.

In July, new legislation was passed aimed at improving social housing conditions. The Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023 introduced stronger regulation of social landlords and enabled the Regulator of Social Housing to enhance requirements around tenant safety.

The legislation aims to rectify conditions in social housing that led to the Grenfell Tower fire, where 72 people died, and the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak following exposure to mould.

Four million households (17% of all households) live in rented social housing in England.

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