An update for tenants from Yvonne Arrowsmith, RBH Interim Chief Executive
This morning the Independent Housing Ombudsman published the report of their special investigation into RBH.
We would like to thank the Ombudsman service for its very thorough and balanced report. We accept the findings in full - they are sobering, but not unexpected. There has been significant learning following the tragic death of Awaab Ishak, which we acknowledge highlighted key failures within RBH. We apologise unreservedly for these failures.
We have recognised that too often damp and mould was not seen as a serious issue and was often wrongly attributed to a resident’s lifestyle.
We have taken significant steps since December 2022 to tackle damp and mould across our homes, but it is fair to say that this work should have started much earlier and that the scale of the issue in our homes means it will take us time to complete. We’ve set out clearly in our recovery plan how we intend to do this.
The report also highlights concerns with the way in which residents were treated. Our residents have the right to be treated with respect and listened to and too often this didn’t happen. We are putting this right and have begun a culture shift programme across the organisation.
There are wider lessons that we need to act upon, around the investment in our existing homes, and how this is balanced against the desperate need for more homes. The issue of overcrowding in homes has a detrimental effect in a lot of areas and is a significant issue within Rochdale, with insufficient family homes to move people into. However, this should not excuse us from working hard to deliver solutions, investigating the root cause of the damp and mould and taking prompt action to treat it.
If you have any concerns about your home, please contact us so that we work together to resolve the issues you are experiencing. More information about what to do if you find damp and mould in your home can be found on our dedicated website page. You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on Freephone 0800 027 7769, or report a repair via the MyRBH portal.
RBH Interim Chief Executive