In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire that claimed the lives of 72 people and the death of two year old Awaab Ishak, a move to strengthen social housing rules is set to become law.
Suffering from a respiratory condition caused by prolonged exposure to mould in his home, the death of the toddler has led to the government changing the bill. Included in this bill will be Awaab’s law which will require landlords to act on reported hazards in social housing in a timely fashion or rehouse tenants in accommodation meeting the standards. Another change to the bill will now require social housing managers to have professional qualifications. Baroness Scott said the legislation will seek to drive the change that is so desperately needed in the social rented sector.
Why is it so important?
Had the safety standards been met in both cases and tenants’ concerns been listened to in time, their deaths could have been prevented. From building regulations to the Decent Homes Standard, guidelines have been set in place when it comes to the minimum standards for the condition and appearance of social housing. Multiple fire experts initially speculated that the fire spread so quickly in the Grenfell Tower fire because the rain screen cladding had a polyethylene core, which when heated produces a gas that quickly ignites. After inspection police determined both the cladding and insulation behind it had failed safety tests.
At National Housing Group we ensure that all our properties not only meet but exceed the Decent Homes Standard. By acquiring and developing properties in local communities, we’ve been able to address the lack of high quality and suitable housing by providing permanent solutions. We are strong believers that people should have a right to a home, especially one of high quality.
Continuing our fight to help tackle the housing crisis and homelessness is of the utmost importance to us, which is why we will continue to push for the Government to take action and we will continue to provide social housing to those who need it most, at the standard required. Working in collaboration with our partners, and using the Housing First model we continue to support and deliver quality housing to vulnerable communities as quickly as possible.
At the National Housing Group, our mission goes beyond providing shelter to those in need. We are dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness for our residents. This is why some of our properties that have supported housing identify the root causes, such as drug addiction or past trauma, and actively assist residents by enrolling them in appropriate courses or classes. Our goal is to work with providers that empower residents to regain stability and place themselves on a path to success, ensuring that once they transition from our housing, they can continue their journey with positive momentum.
We look forward to seeing the changes that are due to follow in the standards of social housing. Our mission to help tackle the housing shortage and homelessness crisis began in 2020 and we plan to continue helping fight the fight until there are no longer neglected and vulnerable people living without suitable housing.