William Eichler 24 May 2022

Gove criticises social housing landlord after ‘severe maladministration’ finding

Gove criticises social housing landlord after ‘severe maladministration’ finding image
Image: Adam J/Shutterstock.com.

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove, has criticised England's largest social housing landlord after an investigation found the housing body was guilty of ‘severe maladministration’.

Clarion Housing Group, which manages 125,000 properties across 170 councils, is under investigation after one resident suffered extensive disruptions to her water supply, leaks, mould, damp, delayed repairs and a rodent infestation.

Housing Ombudsman Richard Blakeway concluded earlier this month that in this specific case Clarion was guilty of ‘severe maladministration’ and said that ‘similar issues which may be indicative of repeated failure’ had been found and so the investigation would be extended further.

Mr Gove has written to Clarion to say that he is ‘deeply disappointed’ that the housing association has not met ‘fundamental standards’ for tenants.

In response to the Ombudsman’s report, Clarion accepted they had been ‘too slow to act’ in the specific case where there was a ‘severe maladministration’ finding. However, they said that the issues were ‘exacerbated’ by the resident who refused Clarion staff entrance to the property.

They also said that they were disappointed by the Ombudsman’s decision to extend the investigation.

‘Clarion’s processes have changed substantially since the case published today by the Ombudsman was resolved. We have provided extensive information to the Ombudsman regarding the progress we have made on pest control, specific vulnerabilities and tackling damp and mould in the homes of our residents,’ the housing association said.

‘We are disappointed by the public comments about a “wider investigation” today and will be writing privately to the ombudsman on these issues. Most importantly, Clarion is determined to continue to drive improvements in the service we provide all our residents.’

In his letter to Clarion, Mr Gove criticised what he described as the housing association’s ‘defensive response’ and said their focus should be on ‘putting things right and learning lessons’.

In response to Mr Gove, Clare Miller, group chief executive of Clarion Housing Group said: 'As chief executive of Clarion Housing Group, I will never shirk our responsibility to provide and maintain good quality homes.

'We have not got every decision right as an organisation, but we are making good progress and recently published a detailed update on the actions we have taken to significantly improve our service*.

'There is no quick fix to the housing crisis and the UK has some of the oldest housing stock in the world. As a charitable organisation, we will continue do all we can to meet this challenge and we hope the government will work with us on our common goals.'

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Travel Information Data Technician

Essex County Council
Up to £25581 per annum
This is an exciting opportunity to work across all aspects of the Integrated Passenger Transport Unit (IPTU). Working with a passionate and dedicated England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Planning Strategy & Implementation Manager

Essex County Council
£57621 - £61410 per annum
Planning Strategy & Implementation Manager Permanent, Full Time £57,621 to £61,410 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Accountant

Telford & Wrekin Council
£39,571 - £42,614
Are you a qualified Accountant looking to take the next step in your career? Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Family Assessment Worker

Telford & Wrekin Council
£25,419 to £27,514
We have a great opportunity for a full time Family Assessment Worker in the Parenting Assessment Team. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£23,023 - £24,920
The post holder will tackle environmental crimes and unlawful parking. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.