The pay of housing association bosses has been described as being “off the charts” by a former housing secretary, in the wake of the death of Awaab Ishak.
The two-year-old died in December 2020 from a respiratory condition caused by mold in his home, managed by Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH).
There has been an outpouring of emotion after the toddler’s death, and anger from many quarters over the poor state of the home he and his family were forced to live in – leading to RBH’s chief executive being sacked.
And today the Daily Mail revealed the high salary of housing association bosses, with one earning £592,000 a year.
Asked by Sky News’ Kay Burley if they should be earning that much, Robert Jenrick – who now serves as immigration minister – said: “No, I don’t think they should be.
“Housing associations… in some cases have moved away from their charitable and social purposes and have become too large, not sufficiently focused on the interests and needs of the residents where it began.
“And as you say, some of the executive pay is off the charts. That needs to change.”
His comments come after the new Housing Secretary Michael Gove wrote to every English council leader and social housing provider to put them “on notice” over the “abhorrent” conditions that killed Awaab.
Councils are being asked to supply Mr Gove’s department with an assessment of damp and mold affecting their privately rented properties, as well as details of how it is being tackled.
Local authorities have also been asked to list the number of civil penalty notices and successful prosecutions pursued in relation to dangerous damp and mold.
Mr Gove wrote: “I am putting housing providers on notice: I will take whatever action is required to improve standards across the country and ensure tenants’ voices are heard.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe in their homes, and the death of a child like Awaab Ishak must never be allowed to happen again.”