The death of Awaab Ishak was tragic and our thoughts remain with his family. The housing sector in Northern Ireland has closely followed the case, and we are committed to learning from such tragic incidents.
“The right to a safe, decent and well maintained home is central to the work of all our members and the many contractors and design partners who work with them.
Condensation dampness can occur in any home, and can often be managed through good ventilation and adequate heating. Our members are working with their tenants to raise awareness of this issue and to look at ways of avoiding it. Where more complex issues arise within the fabric of buildings, our members are taking action to address the problems. Housing Associations are investing in improving the standards of homes through interim repairs in the short term followed by planned maintenance in the medium term. Not only are these works addressing dampness but they are also improving energy efficiency and helping to cut heating costs.
We are mindful that with the current cost of living crisis and the increasing costs to heat a home is very much a challenge for our tenants and we welcome the news on the January roll out of the £600 energy payment scheme.
“All NIFHA members are reviewing their approaches to tackling mould and dampness and will proactively engage with tenants to effectively address issues that arise. This includes updating procedures relating to how mould and dampness is managed, training staff to identify the cause of issues and expedite works as identified. In addition, tenants are being provided with information on how to reduce moisture in their properties and ensure their homes are ventilated. This will help prevent more complex problems developing over time.
“We all recognise the importance of working closely with tenants, and we want to ensure that all issues are addressed in the most appropriate way, so that tenants can feel safe and all homes are kept in the best possible condition. Should any of our social housing tenants have concerns about possible dampness in their homes we advise them to contact their housing association.”