HAs' Serial Neglect of Residents and Properties
Housing associations have been guilty of 'serial neglect of residents and properties' according to the Guardian. It highlighted allegations against many of the biggest names in the sector, including Catalyst, Sanctuary, Notting Hill Housing, and One Housing Group. Almost all of these associations have been equally dismissive of their own staff well-being, leading to industrial disputes by Unite Housing Workers' branch members.
The Guardian reports a catalogue of problems, including residents being left with no heating or hot water for long periods as they waited for essential repairs to be carried out. The article points out that these problems:
"raise concerns about standards in the new-build housing market, linked to the government’s ongoing drive to deregulate housing in the capital and the decision of many associations to concentrate on commercial property development." The Guardian 11 April 2017
This article was followed with a second the next day which brought calls from politicians and housing professionals to increase regulation of the sector after becoming "increasingly concerned about some housing associations’ performance and the government’s drive to cut back funding and regulation". They point out that the Audit Commission's closure during the Coalition government's 'Bonfire of the Quangos' in 2015 ended the regime of housing association inspections which had previously moved from the Housing Corporation. The current government's response to the housing crisis has included a statement from Gavin Barwell, Housing Minister, committing to further de-regulation. The Guardian 12 April 2017
The Unite Housing Workers Branch continues to campaign industrially with members in many of these workerplaces, and has a succesful track record of defeating cuts to pay, terms and conditions.
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