An investigation has been launched into the state of social homes managed by the UK’s largest housing association after severe failings were discovered for the second time in weeks.
The Housing Ombudsman found severe maladministration relating to Clarion Housing’s handling complaints from a resident with vulnerabilities over a 15-month period. The regulator found the resident lacked hot or cold water for days and months at a time.
Clarion also failed to deal with reports of leaks and a damp and mould and a rodent issue so bad that there were mice in every room of the home at one point. The housing association did apologise and offer compensation for the delay.
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The regulator will now launch a wider investigation into the housing association, which has been the target of activist Kwajo Tweneboa in recent months as he uncovered issues at scores of Clarion properties. His campaigning, and reporting from ITV News, forced the government to announce the Social Housing Regulation Bill in this week’s Queen’s Speech to improve standards in social housing.
“Only a few days ago Clare Miller, Clarion’s CEO, was saying how their satisfaction rates are amazing yet today we are seeing that they have been hit with severe maladministration for a second time in the space of a couple of weeks,” Tweneboa told The Big Issue.
“It won’t be the last time they’re hit with it I don’t think because from what I’ve seen and from what I know of the organisation in terms of their repairs and prioritising customers’ needs, it’s an absolute disgrace. I believe that now people will be able to see how bad things are with that organisation and I welcome it.”