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Awaab Ishak: Housing association could face intervention over death of boy, 2, in mould-infested flat

Michael Gove is exploring what powers he has to intervene within the housing affiliation that didn’t rectify the mould infestation that led to the demise of a toddler in his own residence.

The Housing Secretary on Wednesday advised MPs he would maintain landlords to account, together with “naming and shaming” those that breach shopper requirements, within the wake of the demise of Awaab Ishak who died from a respiratory situation brought on by mould.

You are reading: Awaab Ishak: Housing association could face intervention over death of boy, 2, in mould-infested flat

The 2-year-old died in December 2020 because of extended publicity to mould, whereas residing in a one-bedroom flat along with his dad and mom, Faisal Abdullah and Aisha Amin, in Rochdale, Better Manchester.

Mr Gove held a gathering with Gareth Swarbrick, the chief government of Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), who earns £170,000 a yr, after which he stated that it was “much more clear to me, issues in governance of that organisation”.

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Sources near the Cupboard minister stated the assembly with Mr Swarbrick was “clearly unsatisfactory”, including that Mr Gove was now “exploring choices” as to what powers he has to carry the housing affiliation to account.

In an announcement to the Home of Commons on Wednesday, Mr Gove stated: “Awaab’s demise does make painfully clear why we should do the whole lot we will to higher shield tenants. So, our Social Housing Regulation Invoice will usher in a rigorous new regime that holds landlords like these to account for the decency of their properties.

“In the meanwhile… the system has been too reliant on individuals preventing their very own nook and we’re decided to alter that. So, the reforms that we’re making will assist to alleviate the burden on tenants with an emboldened and extra highly effective regulator.”

Mr Gove additionally stated that Mr Abdullah’s makes an attempt to boost the matter of mould in his flat with RBH had been neglected on account of “prejudice”. It follows claims from the household that their case was not thought-about by the housing affiliation because of racism.

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The Housing Secretary advised MPs that Awaab and his household, who’re initially from Sudan, “had been victims of prejudice”, including there was a “vital drawback with black and minority ethnic individuals not being handled as they need to”.

The inquest into Awaab’s demise heard considerations had been repeatedly raised to landlord RBH about mould within the flat in town’s Freehold property.

Mr Gove stated he would “act instantly” on the suggestions of the coroner and had been in contact with senior figures at RBH to “demand solutions”.

He added: “Rochdale Boroughwide Housing’s repeated failure to heed Awaab’s household’s pleas to take away the mould of their damp-ridden property was a horrible dereliction of obligation.

“Worse nonetheless, the obvious makes an attempt by Rochdale Boroughwide Housing to attribute the existence of mould to the actions of Awaab’s dad and mom was past insensitive and deeply unprofessional.”

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