Landlords Asked for Damp and Mould Strategies

Landlords will be asked to reveal their damp and mould strategies in an overhaul of reporting standards for ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance).

According to Inside Housing, the changes to the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing (SRS) will include a bigger focus on stock quality, particularly how landlords manage and mitigate damp and mould risks, plus data on gas safety checks and fire, asbestos and legionella risk assessments. Housing associations will be expected to give extra information about their stock quality, including their approach to damp and mould issues, as part of an overhaul of a sector reporting standard.

The SRS was launched in late 2020 in a bid to attract funds from investors focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials, and since the launch, around 160 organisations, including housing associations and funders have signed up.

The standard is now being updated amid a focus on poor housing conditions, following the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak due to damp and mould conditions in his family’s Rochdale flat. A consultation is being launched this month with the backing of dozens of landlords and investors.


Quote in Inside Housing, Brendan Sarsfield, chair of Sustainability for Housing (SfH), the group overseeing the SRS, said: “The worlds of ESG and social housing continue to evolve at pace and ESG reporting needs to keep up.”

Mr Sarsfield, who is also the former chief executive of housing association Peabody, recently slated for allowing a Peckham tenant’s dead body to go undiscovered for two years, added: “This new draft version of the standard has been created in consultation with the housing and finance sectors and hopefully meets new emerging demands whilst recognising the importance of continuity.”

Social housing has been put under the spotlight recently following a series of reports involving poor housing standards. The government aims to address some of these issues in its Social Housing (Regulation) Bill, which is in its final stages in parliament before becoming law.

Under the new SRS, landlords will be expected to include carbon net zero strategies, retrofit and environmental disclosures such as Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) ratings, as well as Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirements. Information on the organisations’ equality, diversity and inclusion policies, approaches to staff training and professional development will also be required each year.

Again speaking to Inside Housing, Sarah Smith, chief financial officer at Southern Housing and an SfH board member, said: “Demand for investment in ESG areas such as social housing is only going to grow and the sector needs to be alive to this opportunity as it looks to tackle the housing crisis.

“The sector also needs to maintain its solid reputation when it comes to ESG reporting, which is why SfH has sought to tighten up key areas of focus within the SRS.”

See also: Mould Caused Boy’s Death, Coroner Rules

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