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Regrets? We have a few: Social housing tenants urged to continue flagging poor home standards

The government have urged tenants to put pressure on landlords to improve their living conditions under a new campaign that has entered the next stage.

The next phase of the ‘Make Things Right’ programme has been launched which aims to encourage residents to report issues they find in social housing. The campaign, which cost £2m, was created after severe damp and mould issues surfaced following the tragic case of Awaab Ishak.

a tall building with many windows

‘Social landlords who fail their residents time and time again must be held to account,’ said Michael Gove, housing secretary. ‘The continued success of our Make Things Right campaign gives residents a greater voice to bring about real change – making sure they known their rights to stand up to bad landlords and go to the Ombudsman when issues remain unresolved.’

Mr Gove added: ‘Our Social Housing Act is now law and Awaab’s Law remains a firm reminder of the importance for all tenants to have the right to live in safe and decent homes while being treated with fairness and respect.’

The campaign will see adverts promoted across the radio and social media.

Given that 10% of social homes failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard last year, this is a serious wakeup call for landlords who must do better to provide decent and safe homes for their residents.

Kwajo Tweneboa, social housing campaigner, said: ‘I have said from the very beginning, nobody should live in a home that’s falling apart or unsafe. If a landlord wouldn’t, neither should their tenants.

‘Report to your landlord, complain to your landlord and if they still refuse to take action report them straight to the Housing Ombudsman.’

Since last year, it has been quicker for residents to raise complaints directly with the Ombudsman, removing requirements to write to an MP or local councillor first and wait eight weeks after completing the landlord’s process.

Following this, referrals to the Ombudsman have spiked in demand with a 78% increase in March compared to the same month a year before.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: ‘Effective complaint handling is vital to ensure issues are resolved at the earliest opportunity.

‘A landlord’s complaint process should be accessible for any resident that wishes to make a complaint. The process gives landlords a fair opportunity to put things right for residents when things have gone wrong, whether that be through a repair, apology or offer of compensation.

‘If residents are still unhappy after the landlord’s final complaint response, they can bring their complaint to us at the Housing Ombudsman.’

Image: Matt Brown

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