The manager of a housing association responsible for a flat where a two-year-old boy had been exposed to mold for a long time was awarded £170,000 the same year the boy died.
Waab Ishak, two, died in December 2020 of a respiratory illness caused by mold at the one-bedroom housing association flat where he lived with his parents Faisal Abdullah and Aisha Aminin in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
Mr Abdullah had previously complained to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) about the mold, an inquest at the Rochdale Coroner said on Tuesday.
According to the housing association’s report and accounts for the year ended March 2022, RBH Chief Executive Gareth Swabrick was paid £170,000 for the 2020/2021 financial year.
The document also shows Mr Swarbrick’s salary for 2021/2022 – the year after Awaab’s death – has risen to £185,000.
The revelations have drawn criticism, with public housing activist Kwajo Tweneboa calling the amount Mr Swarbrick was making “disgusting” while he was “failed to ensure a decent standard of living for those his organization is said to provide a service to.” “.
It comes after Housing Secretary Michael Gove accused Mr Swabrick – who he says was earning “north of £150,000” – of “hiding behind the proceedings”.
“Honestly, it’s hard to believe this guy is still in office. He comes here to explain to me why this tragedy was allowed to happen,” Mr Gove said.
“This is an unacceptable tragedy,” he said.
Mr Gove said he had called Mr Swarbrick to the Leveling Up, Housing and Communities department.
Mr Swabrick said: “I can confirm that I received a letter from the Secretary of State for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities today and will be meeting as soon as possible to discuss his concerns.”
In an earlier statement, he said Awaab’s death should be a “wake-up call for everyone in the housing, social care and health sectors.”
Mr Swabrick said: “We have and will continue to learn harsh lessons from this.
“We failed to realize the magnitude of the risk to a young boy’s health from mold in the family home. We have allowed a legal remediation process that is widespread in the residential sector to stand in the way of timely control of mold.
“We have to make sure that something like this can never happen again.”
In a statement following the hearing, the youth’s family said: “We cannot tell you how many healthcare professionals we cried in front of and how many Rochdale Boroughwide Housing staff we asked to express their concern over the conditions, among which we ourselves and Awaab have lived .
“We screamed as loud as we could, but despite all that effort, we came back to the same problem every night.”
They said they felt “absolutely worthless” by RBH and claimed they were treated that way because they weren’t from the UK.
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/housing-society-boss-paid-170000-in-same-year-boy-died-due-to-mould-in-flat-42147482.html Housing society boss paid £170,000 in same year boy died due to mould in flat