Dear tenants and residents,
I am writing today with an important update. You may read in the media about an announcement made today by the Regulator of Social Housing. I want to tell you how we are responding to that announcement, and what this means for you.
As you may know, the Regulator of Social Housing exists to ensure the social housing sector delivers and maintains quality homes. It awards ratings for housing providers, in a similar way to how the OFSTED schools inspectors provide ratings for schools.
The Regulator has today announced its decision to downgrade RBH’s Governance rating. RBH previously held a “G1” rating, the highest available, and today the organisation has been moved to a much lower “G3” rating.
The Regulator’s decision reflects the failings and mistakes we have made in recent years, particularly around Awaab Ishak and his family. We first want to again express our deepest sympathies and apologies to Awaab’s family.
I want to reassure you that I am fully committed to doing everything it takes to regain your trust and ensure all our tenants are safe and comfortable in their homes. This is why I have been appointed and it will be my first and foremost priority every day.
We fully accept this judgement. Our entire team is already working to make the changes necessary to regain their confidence and demonstrate we meet the standards expected of us.
Today marks my fourth day as Interim Chief Executive and I have already started to put in place the changes needed to make sure that RBH is listening to and delivering for tenants and the wider community.
I have already started to visit our neighbourhoods so that I can listen and respond to your feedback, and see for myself the condition of our homes. It is extremely important to me that our tenants feel safe in their homes and to achieve this I am immediately increasing the urgency of our recovery plan.
Action is now underway to improve RBH for our tenants, including:
- A new Damp and Mould Taskforce which means we respond to reports of damp and mould quicker.
- New translation tools have been introduced to help us better communicate with tenants, particularly tenants who have English as a second language.
- A £1.2m programme is underway to improve ventilation in every home in Freehold.
We are also making changes at a senior level. From January 2023, we will start recruitment for new Board members, including the appointment of a new Chair. In the interim, we are recruiting Special Advisors on Tenant Services and Property Management to provide additional oversight and support. All new appointees will be approved by our elected Representative Body to ensure tenant voice remains at the heart of everything we do.
I would once again like to take this opportunity to reassure you that I am determined to delivers the homes and services that you need and deserve. If you have any concerns about your home, please contact us via the MyRBH portal, on Freephone 0800 027 7769, or via email@example.com so we can get it sorted. You can also attend one of our drop-in sessions - visit www.rbh.org.uk/events for details.