Skip to main content
Please wait...

Managing maintenance in council controlled buildings

Guidance for long term solutions to damp and mould

In December 2020, toddler Awaab Ishak died from a respiratory condition after being exposed to extensive mould in his family's flat in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. 

Following an extensive investigation, a report by the Housing Ombudsman into Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) and its actions leading up to the tragedy was published in March 2023 with the report painting a "disturbing picture" of life on the estate where Awaab died. 

The investigation found a culture where staff dismissed residents out of hand, believing they knew better and according to the Housing Ombudsman, RBH employees held "prejudices and lazy assumptions" about asylum seekers and refugees, that left them struggling with inadequate - and sometimes dangerous – housing.

To avoid a repeat of this tragic and preventable death the government has announced new plans to clamp down on social housing landlords who do not provide safe homes.

The Housing Secretary has launched the Awaab's Law consultation, which proposes time limits for social housing providers to address dangerous hazards like damp and mould. Those who fail to take action can be taken to court and ordered to pay compensation to tenants.

This webinar has been carefully designed to support those responsible for social housing in the UK to avoid the pitfalls associated with ignoring damp and mould.

Managing Maintenance in Council Controlled Buildings

10.30 Welcome & Event Overview
Dr Hector Altamirano-Medina, Director, UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings / Associate Professor, UCL 
10.40 Spotlight on damp and mould 
Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman
10.50 Damp & Mould - why it is not the fault of the tenant
James Berry, Deputy Chief Executive, Property Care Association
11.00 Constructing equitable social housing 
Dr Douglas Booker - Co-Founder & CEO, 
National Air Quality Testing Services / Lancaster University Environment Centre
11.10 Guidance for long term solutions to damp and mould: Understanding the root causes
David Bly - Managing Director, Cornerstone
11.20 Developing a moisture-safe built environment
Dr Hector Altamirano, Director. UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings & Peter Rickaby, Energy and Sustainability Consultant (Buildings and Housing)
11.30 Panel discussion / Q and A session
featuring today's speakers plus the interactive poll results 
12.00 Event Roundup & Close


Dr Hector Altamirano-Medina

Academic Director, UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings (UKCMB)
Dr Hector Altamirano-Medina is an Associate Professor in Environmental Design and Engineering at the Bartlett School of Environment Energy and Resources, Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, Faculty of the Built Environment. Hector is a building scientist with a broad research interest in the health and well-being impact of the built environment and a wide-ranging experience in the indoor environment and operational performance of buildings, the development of mould and humidity conditions, in-situ monitoring, field surveys and experimental setup of buildings and its components.

Richard Blakeway

Housing Ombudsman
Richard was appointed as Housing Ombudsman from 1 September 2019. He has extensive experience in the housing sector, with previous roles including Deputy Mayor of London for Housing, chair of the Homes for London board, and a non-executive director of Homes England.

James Berry

Deputy CEO, Property Care Association
James joined the PCA team as Technical Manager in 2016 and later became Head of the Technical Department. He is a graduate of the University of Plymouth, where he achieved a BSc (Hons) in Applied Geology but some of his earliest work experience is in the world of preservation and has held various roles within an industry he now feels proud to represent.

Douglas Booker

Co-Founder & CEO of NAQTS
Douglas Booker is Co-Founder & CEO of NAQTS, a business with a mission to provide holistic indoor air quality information using its high-quality air pollution monitoring technology to inform choices and improve quality of life.

David Bly

Managing Director, Cornerstone Management Services
As Managing Director of Cornerstone Management Services, David has spearheaded a service that strives to help people understand the health of their homes in greater detail, from living within them to managing their condition, providing guidance, recognisable improvements and solutions for the long term to improve their quality of life.

Peter Rickaby

Energy and Sustainability Consultant (Buildings and Housing)
Peter Rickaby studied architecture at Cambridge University and holds a doctorate in energy studies from the Open University.  From 1982 to 2017 he was a Director of Rickaby Thompson Associates Energy and Sustainability Consultants, working on building and housing projects throughout the UK and across the EU.

*Speakers are subject to possible change – please come back regularly for updates

Sponsored by


Cornerstone offer significant experience in structural and atmospheric moisture mechanics. A demonstrable 5000 plus independent expert surveys for reported damp, condensation and mould demonstrated 91% of all properties surveyed were dry and hence were experiencing atmospheric management related issues.