Levelling up secretary Michael Gove has criticised England's largest social housing landlord after an investigation found it was guilty of ‘severe maladministration’.
Clarion Housing Group, which manages 125,000 properties across 170 councils, is under investigation after one resident suffered extensive disruptions to her water supply, leaks, mould, damp, delayed repairs and a rodent infestation.
In a letter to Clarion, Mr Gove said he was ‘deeply disappointed’ the housing association had not met ‘fundamental standards’ for tenants.
I have written to @Clarion_Group following severe maladministration findings against them. It is completely unacceptable that tenants are being let down in this way. I will take any steps necessary to drive up standards & hold landlords responsible for providing decent housing. pic.twitter.com/zxK1nVkeXL— Michael Gove (@michaelgove) May 23, 2022
The housing association had said it was 'disappointed' by public comments from the housing ombudsman that he would now conduct a 'wider investigation'.
In his letter to Clarion, Mr Gove criticised what he described as the housing association’s ‘defensive response’ and said their focus should be on ‘putting things right and learning lessons’.
In response to Mr Gove, group chief executive of Clarion Housing Group, Clare Miller, said: 'I will never shirk our responsibility to provide and maintain good quality homes.
'We have not got every decision right as an organisation, but we are making good progress and recently published a detailed update on the actions we have taken to significantly improve our service.
'There is no quick fix to the housing crisis and the UK has some of the oldest housing stock in the world.
'As a charitable organisation, we will continue do all we can to meet this challenge and we hope the Government will work with us on our common goals.'