Housing association ‘failed to complete’ FRA actions

Housing association ‘failed to complete’ FRA actions

GOLDING HOMES was punished by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) after over 100 ‘high-risk’ fire safety actions identified in fire risk assessments (FRAs) were left ‘outstanding for months’

Inside Housing reported on the criticism of the Kent based housing association by the RSH, after it was found to have ‘failed to complete’ over 100 high risk FRA actions and left them ‘outstanding for months’. The company owns 7,000 homes, and referred itself to the RSH after an internal audit found its health and safety compliance was ‘poor’, as well as being unable to ‘fully validate the compliance position due to a lack of reliable data’.

The FRA actions were left undone ‘for a number of months’, and Golding had also identified a ‘large number [of] potentially dangerous’ overdue actions arising from electrical safety checks, with the RSH concluding that the issues ‘had the potential to cause serious detriment’ to tenants. This was a breach of the Home Standard that requires social landlords to ‘meet all applicable statutory requirements which provide for the health and safety of tenants in their homes’.

Golding’s regulatory grading concerning governance was under review as a result, and it has commissioned external assistance ‘to deal with the issues’, putting extra resources into its plans to resolve problems including data weaknesses. The RSH gave the company a regulatory notice in response to a breach of the Home Standard, specifically in relation to fire and electrical safety failings.

The RSH notice read: ‘Fire and electrical safety are self-evidently important because of the potential for serious harm. In this case, the regulator has concluded that the risk of serious harm is demonstrated because of the large number of tenants potentially exposed to danger from fire or faulty electrical installations over a significant period of time.

‘We have assurance that Golding is taking effective action to address these outstanding actions, and is taking a risk-based approach to mitigate any ongoing risks to tenants.’

The regulator concluded by noting that as a result of this assurance, it will ‘therefore not take further action at this stage’, and will work with Golding to address the issues. Chris Cheeseman, chair of Golding Homes, added: ‘Golding Homes takes the safety of our residents extremely seriously and we have acted quickly to put this right, engaging with the regulator and getting independent expert advice on the work needed to ensure our homes remain compliant in all areas.

‘We have also invested in resources to deliver this work in a timely manner, led by new operations director, Annemarie Roberts. We wish to apologise to our residents and reassure them that their safety remains our top priority, now and always and we will be working to deliver on our action plan as swiftly as possible.’