Camden Council responds to Housing Ombudsman investigation

Camden Council has responded to the Housing Ombudsman opening a special investigation into its services. 

The Council has committed to working with the Ombudsman to continue improving its services for residents, which now includes a dedicated damp and mould team that is significantly reducing the number of cases across its housing stock. 

Councillor Meric Apak, Cabinet Member for Better Homes

We want every one of our tenants to live in a home that is safe, dry and warm and we are absolutely determined to deliver on this despite the mounting financial challenge that we face. After years of underfunding from government, councils with large housing stocks like ours have been stretched to the limit and resources have been overwhelmed. 

However, we have not shied away. Instead, we have set up new teams to tackle damp and mould, and to make repairs. We welcome the opportunity to work with the Ombudsman at this crucial time, as we establish higher standards across our services. 

Last year we established a dedicated damp and mould team that has worked on over 6,000 homes – making emergency visits and fixing problems. We are now reaching out again to our most vulnerable tenants. 

“The damp and mould cases that were raised by the Ombudsman some time ago have now been resolved. However, there is more work to be done. Our commitment to our residents is to continue working with urgency and determination to deliver the high standard of housing that they deserve.

Councillor Meric Apak, Cabinet Member for Better Homes

Camden Council has made a clear and public commitment to improve its residents’ homes. This includes investing more than £200m in fire safety improvements, enhancing its repairs service, and establishing a dedicated Damp and Mould team – all while mandated rent reductions have reduced its budgets by £105m since 2016. 

The Council actively encourages residents to report damp and mould in their properties to a dedicated team set up in December 2022. This includes reaching out directly and routinely to around 1,000 vulnerable residents and launching a campaign to reach all council tenants, to maintain awareness, and encourage reporting. Residents are now also able to report damp, mould and repair issues in over 100 different languages via a live chat service, WhatsApp and SMS.

This has seen over 6,100 reports of damp and mould actioned and closed, with most issues now resolved in a single visit.