Hammersmith and Fulham issues apology to its tenants
Black mould in the corner of a flat. Picture: Hammersmith & Fulham Council
Hammersmith and Fulham Council has apologised after being ranked the worst landlord in the country for damp and mould cases.
The Housing Ombudsman investigated 142 landlords between April 2019 and March 2021 over complaints.
The Labour-led council was branded the worst authority for damp and mould issues and the worst at handling complaints in a study published in October.
The authority’s cabinet member for housing Lisa Homan spoke to tenants at a meeting on Wednesday (19 January).
She said, “This council take the Ombudsman’s report into damp and mould very seriously and deeply regrets the problems… that many of our residents have suffered.
“The council apologises, I apologise, to all the residents who have been affected.
“The council is committed to eradicating these problems.”
Cllr Homan said the authority is investing £600 million in refurbishing and repairing its homes and will work to resolve issues as quickly as possible.
Labour councillor Max Schmid said work is now underway on repairs at the borough’s worst-affected estates.
He added, “We don’t blame others for this and we’re taking ownership of it and we’re putting it right.”
Tory councillor Adronie Alford said the council has failed local residents.
She said the borough has lots of old properties built hundreds of years ago and many of the post-war builds are of poor quality but the council should have been able to deal with this.
She added: “This is outrageous and unforgivable. This is something that the Labour administration should be deeply ashamed of.
“We shouldn’t have been negligent in dealing with the problems.
“Too often the excuse is that residents don’t open their windows, don’t ventilate when doing their laundry.
“It’s easy to blame residents and not accept mismanagement. It’s going to take a leap of faith for any residents to believe that the council will do what they say.
“I hope that we never have such an appalling ombudsman report about us again.”
Tory councillor Mark Loveday said, “There’s a lot of human misery behind these figures. It is a scandal in the modern age that, particularly in very wealthy parts of London, many of our residents have to live in poor housing and particularly damp housing.
“It’s a basic breach of human rights.”
Hannah Neary - Local Democracy Reporter
January 20, 2022