Gove 'deeply disappointed' with housing standards at Clarion

Gove 'deeply disappointed' with housing standards at Clarion

ITV news has reported housing secretary Michael Gove's 'deep disappointment' with the UK's largest housing association Clarion in a letter to its chief executive.

The Housing Ombudsman found Clarion guilty of "severe maladministration" in two separate cases. Serious problems with leaks, damp, mould and pest control, as well as complaints handling, were reported.

Last year an ITV News investigation found Clarion tenants living in squalid conditions on a housing estates in Merton, South London. The landlord has since carried out over 500 repairs and insisted it was an isolated case.

However, in a letter to Clarion's Chief Executive Clare Miller, reported by ITV, Gove raised concerns that the same problems are still surfacing in its properties a year on.

"No one should have to live in a home with these conditions - and it should not take years to put them right," he wrote.

"I am deeply disappointed that as one of the largest social housing landlords, who should be setting an example, you have not been able to meet fundamental standards for your tenants.

"I intend to take a personal and direct interest in your association's approach to housing conditions, engagement with residents and vulnerable complainants in particular."

According to ITV, the housing secretary has said he's prepared to personally intervene "to drive up standards and hold landlords responsible."

In her response statement, Clarion's Clare Miller said:

"We can confirm we have received a letter from the secretary of state, relating to the ombudsman ruling, where we failed to provide the service our residents have a right to expect.

“As chief executive of Clarion Housing Group, I will never shirk our responsibility to provide and maintain good quality homes.

“We have not got every decision right as an organisation, but we are making good progress and recently published a detailed update on the actions we have taken to significantly improve our service.

“There is no quick fix to the housing crisis and the UK has some of the oldest housing stock in the world.

“As a charitable organisation, we will continue to do all we can to meet this challenge and we hope the government will work with us on our common goals.”

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