As the professional body for housing, it's our role to help make a positive difference across the sector. We have a duty to do the right thing - to spot when services aren't meeting the highest standards and enact change when it's needed.

It's been a sombre year following the inquest into the death of Awaab Ishak, which has once again highlighted the issue with damp and mould we have in this country.

The loss of a young life linked to poor quality social housing is completely unacceptable. Everyone should be able to live in a safe, decent home and be listened to when they raise a concern. We must make improvements across all areas of the sector to achieve better outcomes for our tenants and communities.

We wanted to share some resources to support in this area. This is a start - we'll create more over the coming months, which we will add to this page so together, we address the critical issues and challenges highlighted through this tragic case. The four areas of concern that we're focusing on are: 

  • Being more acutely aware of how to diagnose issues relating to damp and mould
  • Improving services and tenant engagement
  • Tackling issues around asset management
  • Increasing professionalism within the sector.

We encourage you to look at these resources, review your practices and share any good examples you may have so as a sector, we can work together to improve outcomes for tenants and restore faith in the housing. 

Members can download our exclusive how to tackle damp and mould guide here.

Taking steps to tackle damp and mould

Damp and Mould: Getting it Right (event recording)
We explored the challenges in identifying and addressing the root cause of damp and mould alongside the Housing Ombudsman, tpas and housing providers. You can listen back to our event where our speakers discuss taking a zero-tolerance approach to damp and mould and how you can rethink tenant engagement to tackle this issue effectively.

Watch here

Tackling Damp and Mould (event recording)
We hosted an event with the Housing Ombudsman where we took a deep-dive into their extensive investigation into complaints around damp and mould and the recommendations it has for landlords. We looked at how technology can be harnessed to help you identify risk and respond appropriately. 

Watch here

Putting safety first: a briefing note on damp and mould for social housing practitioners in Scotland
ALACHO (Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers), the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), and the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) have worked together to provide the social housing sector with improved information on how they can respond to damp and mould. This guide provides an overview for practitioners on dealing with damp and mould in a way which is proactive, understanding of tenants’ experiences, and effective in resolving the underlying issue.

Download here

Additional resources: 

Improving services and tenant engagement

Using Resident Feedback to Drive Real Service Improvement (event recording)

Landlords typically gather plenty of resident feedback but don’t always know how to make the best use of it to drive service improvement. We held an online event where we discussed:

  • The latest data on how the sector currently compares to the emerging tenant satisfaction measures and what good looks like
  • Key drivers for resident perception
  • Hints and tips on how to make the most of your feedback
  • Plus, innovative examples of what some landlords are doing to transform their business.

Watch here

Housing Management Masterclass: Effective Complaint Handling (event recording)

In this Housing Management Masterclass, we explore how to use complaints to achieve real improvements in services and customer satisfaction. You’ll hear the latest updates and best practice guidance from the Housing Ombudsman and housing providers who have taken measures to effectively handle complaints and improve tenant satisfaction.

Watch now

Additional resources: 

Asset management

Building Better Boards: Demystifying Asset Management (event recording)

It has never been more important for housing association boards to have a clear understanding of investing wisely to ensure homes are of good quality and meet needs and expectations of tenants, now and for the future. 

In this Building Better Boards event recording, asset management expert Richard Medley will guide you through everything you need to know.

Watch here

Building Safety and Resident Engagement (event recording)

During this session, we’ll help you understand the new parameters and what you should be doing to prepare to deliver resident engagement strategies in your high-rise buildings. We also discuss best practice that goes beyond the requirements of the Act.

We hear from a landlord which has already started developing their resident engagement across their high-rise stock. We also consider the specific needs of disabled and older people living in high-rise buildings and how landlords should engage with them.

Watch here

Additional resources: 

  • Keeping the plates spinning - the reality of modern asset management - Elly Hoult explores how we face the biggest challenges in asset management ensure residents are living in safe, warm, dry, and modern homes

  • Asset and repairs group - this group brings together senior asset management professionals from across the sector to discuss key areas of policy and practice in the management of existing homes. If you are interested in getting involved, please email the CIH policy team.

  • Effective governance training - this course offers an in-depth examination of effective governance to equip you with the essential knowledge, skills and behaviour awareness you need.

Increasing professionalism across the sector

The CIH professional standards are the bedrock of our organisation and something every member should be using on a regular basis. To be the change we want to see, we must have an understanding of what’s important, what we stand for and what we’re trying to achieve.

Make sure you're using the professional standards self-assessment tool to think about where you are on your career journey and identify areas of improvement. 

Find out more

Additional resources:

We have also worked with a number of providers to put together a document on understanding and addressing the health risks of damp and mould which you can read here.

The work we do every day as housing professionals is essential, and at times, critical. We must do better, and above all, make the right decisions for the tenants, residents and communities we work with.