Awaab Ishak: Housing boss sacked after two-year-old's mould exposure death

Two-year-old Awaab died after exposure to mould in his home.
Two-year-old Awaab died after exposure to mould in his home.

An inquest into the death of Awaab Ishak found he died in December 2020 from a respiratory condition caused by mould in the one-bedroom housing association flat

Published

The chief executive of a housing organisation has been removed “with immediate effect” after a two-year-old boy died from exposure to mould.

Earlier this week, an inquest into the death of Awaab Ishak found he died in December 2020 from a respiratory condition caused by mould in the one-bedroom housing association flat where he lived with his parents, Faisal Abdullah and Aisha Amin, in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

Gareth Swarbrick, chief executive of Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), has lost his position, it was announced on Saturday.

A statement read: “Our original instincts were for Gareth to stay on to see the organisation through this difficult period and to make the necessary changes, but we all recognise that this is no longer tenable.

“The coroner noted that RBH had made changes as a result of the tragic death of Awaab.

Gareth Swarbrick, chief executive of Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) has been removed from his post with immediate effect.
Gareth Swarbrick, chief executive of Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) has been removed from his post with immediate effect.

“Under new leadership, RBH will continue to embed these changes and to continue to drive further improvements to our homes and to our communications with tenants.

“We are committed to sharing what we have learnt about the impact to health of damp, condensation and mould with the social housing sector, and to supporting sector-wide changes.

“We will work with other agencies local and national and with central government in implementing the wider changes recommended to them by the coroner.”

RBH said it will work to appoint an external interim chief executive.