In what it describes as “a seminal moment” for the landlord sector following the tragic death of toddler Awaab Ishak in Rochdale, the Kent Housing Group (KHG) has underlined the importance of safe and decent homes and has restated that this is a priority for KHG to work on with partners in Kent and Medway.
Two-year-old Awaab died from a respiratory condition after exposure to mould in a Rochdale Boroughwide Housing flat, a coroner ruled.
KHG Chair Sharon Williams said: “This desperately sad case needs to be seen as a watershed moment where everyone involved in the rented sector in Kent and beyond takes a hard look at their priorities to ensure that this can never happen again.
“The spotlight is on the rented sector now and urgent action must be taken to make sure that safe decent homes are at the top of everyone’s agenda.”
KHG’s Board is meeting to discuss the county’s public and private sector response to the tragedy, with a number of options on the table to be discussed.
Kent County Council’s Director of Public Health, Dr Anjan Ghosh, said: “As the Levelling Up Secretary has made clear, poor housing conditions are a significant national public health issue and I welcome the commitment of the Kent Housing Group to show leadership on this matter in the county.
“Exposure to mould and damp can affect people’s health in various ways, causing allergies, eye irritation, and skin, nose, throat, and lungs infections, including asthma.
“And as we saw in the very sad case in Rochdale, it can also cost lives.
“With the most vulnerable in our society so often the ones affected by poorly maintained homes, the need for action by the housing sector to play its part in tackling health inequalities is real and pressing.”
The Kent Housing Group (KHG) is the voice of the housing sector in Kent and Medway. It has representation from all 12 Kent local authorities, Medway Council, 13 housing associations, Kent County Council and Kent Public Health. KHG also has representation from organisations who work in partnership with social housing landlords, including Homes England, the National Housing Federation, the National Landlords Residents Association and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP). Visit www.kenthousinggroup.org.ukBack