The UK’s largest housing association, Clarion, has made significant changes to its executive team following an ITV documentary that was highly critical of its estates management team.
The London-based housing association, which manages around 125,000 homes, will move its current chief operating officer Michelle Reynolds into a chief customer officer role, while its group commercial director Rob Lane will become chief property officer.
The changes were announced internally to Clarion staff in an email, in which chief executive Clare Miller admitted the organisation needs to improve its engagement practices with residents.
Clarion, which has a development pipeline of 20,000 homes, was placed under the spotlight after an ITV documentary earlier this year showed poor conditions on one of its estates in Mitcham, South London.
The film makers found shocking conditions on the Eastfields Estate, with dozens of families living in damp, mouldy, crumbling homes with ongoing leaks. The documentary also learned that the estate is plagued by a rodent infestation, with several residents showing the team videos of mice and rats in their properties.
One family ITV spoke to, who pay Clarion £1,300-per-month rent, had been forced to live for eight months without any lights on the top floor of their house, including in the family bathroom and their children’s bedroom. The lights cut out in November last year after a leak in the living room caused the ceiling to collapse, inches from where their children were doing schoolwork.
Clarion Housing issued an apology to all the residents of Eastfields Estate following the documentary’s screening in June, admitting that they “had not had the service they deserve.”
Speaking to Housing Today last week, Clarion board member David Orr admitted that the housing association had become “distracted” in the area by a major regeneration programme and consequently “did not spend enough attention to the actual day-to-day fabric”.
He said however there is not a systemic problem with Clarion’s housing management.
The Regulator of Social Housing cleared Clarion of breaching its regulatory code.
Image: Screenshot from ITV News.