Three key updates on building and fire safety

The start of 2019 has seen consultations on Approved Document B, and how residents and landlords can work together to keep buildings safe. This article summarises both of these, and outlines the current timeline for new building safety legislation.

15 March 2019

The technical review of Approved Document B

The Government is reviewing Approved Document B (ADB), the guidance on meeting the fire safety requirements of building regulations.

As part of this review, in March the Federation submitted views to the Government’s call to evidence. In this submission we:

  • set out our support for a review of the guidance and our sector’s commitment to ensuring residents’ safety
  • outlined the considerations that the Government will need to make to achieve this, and offer to work with them so that any changes to guidance consider the people living in the sector’s homes
  • highlighted the potential for unintended consequences on the affordability and availability of new housing, so that measures to mitigate this potential are considered at the outset.

You can read our recommendations in full for more information.

Consultation on residents and landlords working together to keep buildings safe

The Government has been consulting on how residents and landlords can work together to keep buildings safe. This consultation is a crucial part of the Government’s plans to ensure that residents receive the information they need to remain safe in their homes.

As part of this consultation, in February the Federation responded to the consultation. Our response included good practice case studies from several housing associations, and referenced our new initiative Together with Tenants. Our case studies cover:

  • what housing associations did in the immediate response following the Grenfell Tower fire
  • how housing associations are working together with residents to improve building safety
  • the barriers and enablers to keeping homes and buildings safe.

You can read the full submission for more information.

What’s coming up?

In the next couple of months, we’re expecting a consultation on the new system to keep buildings safe, and will keep our members updated on when this arrives and our plans for gathering views. Following this, we expect the Government to put forward a Bill in early 2020.

Please be aware that our current Grenfell Programme Lead, Lucy Grove, will be on maternity leave from 21 March. Victoria Moffett, previously an External Affairs Manager at the Federation, has been appointed to cover Lucy’s maternity leave, so please get in touch with her going forward with any questions.