BCP Council Launches New Campaign to Tackle High-Risk Cases of Damp and Mould in Rented Homes
The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) council has launched a new campaign to tackle high-risk cases of damp and mould in rented homes.
The council has promised to provide advice and support to affected tenants to ensure that they do not “slip through the net.” This initiative comes in response to the issue of exposure to mould in homes, which gained attention after a toddler died from a respiratory condition in Rochdale in 2020.
The council’s housing portfolio holder, Karen Rampton, has announced that a new working group would be established to decide how best to support council tenants and offer advice and support for those in private rented accommodation. In addition, the council is working with Sovereign Housing to ensure tenants in the Christchurch area are supported.
Ms Rampton has also stated that all high-risk cases of damp and mould would be revisited to ensure that any remaining problems are fixed. The campaign includes an additional £500,000 in the budget for council-owned properties. Furthermore, a checklist would be made available to any residents, explaining what measures they could take themselves to help deal with damp and mould.
Council officers and maintenance staff who were likely to go into properties were also being briefed to look for signs of mould. Ms Rampton has emphasized that the council is “trying to make sure people don’t slip through the net and signposting the support available to residents.”
The issue of mould in housing was highlighted by the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak in December 2020. An inquest into his death heard that his father had repeatedly raised the issue of the condition of their one-bedroom flat with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), but no action was taken. This tragedy underscores the importance of addressing high-risk cases of damp and mould in rented homes.
Overall, the BCP council’s new campaign is a welcome step towards ensuring that tenants in rented homes are protected from the risks associated with damp and mould. By providing advice and support to affected tenants, revisiting high-risk cases, and making resources available to residents, the council is taking proactive measures to address this issue. This initiative serves as a model for other councils to follow in their efforts to ensure that rented homes are safe and healthy places to live.