Thousands of Birmingham City Council tenants at ‘risk of serious harm’, according to a government report

A concerning report by the Government’s Regulator of Social Housing has unveiled failures within Birmingham City Council’s housing department

A report by the government has shown that thousands of tenants in Birmingham are living in homes that are putting them at potential risk of serious harm.

In a report published on Wednesday (May 24), the Regulator of Social Housing concluded that Birmingham City Council has breached the consumer standards for tenants. The concerning findings of the investiagation revealed that around 23,000 social homes owned by the city do not meet the Decent Homes Standard of the government.

The regulator also found a range of serious health and safety issues across thousands of homes, including almost 17,000 overdue asbestos surveys, around 15,500 late electrical safety inspections and more than 1,000 fire risk assessments that were overdue, mainly for low-rise housing blocks.

The report also identified significant failures in the way the council handles its tenants’ complaints, with more than 1,000 overdue responses. The regulator’s investigation follows earlier external reviews which found that the council’s engagement with tenants was ineffective, and that it did not understand or value tenants’ needs. The council will need to take urgent action to a address the findings.

What has been said about the report?

Kate Dodsworth, Director of Consumer Regulation at RSH, said: “Birmingham City Council has failed thousands of tenants and it needs to act now to put things right. It is unacceptable that so many of its tenants are living in non-decent homes, and that thousands of health and safety surveys haven’t been completed. The council also needs to improve the way it handles its tenants’ complaints.

“We will continue to monitor the council’s progress while it fixes the problems we found through our investigation.”

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