Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017, the government established the Building Safety Programme to ensure the safety of people and their homes. Housing associations have worked hard to assess safety risks and take urgent action to remediate buildings where needed.
This has included identifying, removing and replacing dangerous category 3 ACM cladding – the type used on Grenfell Tower – as well as identifying and remediating other types of cladding and other safety risks. Housing associations have also put urgent temporary measures in place to ensure residents are safe before and during remediation work.
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Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, the government committed to overhauling the building safety regulatory system to make new and existing buildings safer and minimise the risk of fire in high-rise buildings.
The government commissioned Dame Judith Hackitt to lead an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety in July 2017. The review published its final report in May 2018, setting out more than 50 recommendations for the government on how to deliver a more robust regulatory system for the future.
The government used these recommendations to develop its proposals for the Building a Safer Future consultation, which was followed by the long-awaited Building Safety Bill, published in July 2021.
As part of the changes set out in the Building Safety Bill, a new Building Safety Regulator has been created within the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) with extensive new powers of regulation, inspection and enforcement.
In addition, in April 2021 the Fire Safety Bill received Royal Assent and is now an official act of Parliament, impacting all buildings containing more than one residential unit. It is not limited to buildings 18m and over in height, defined as 'higher-risk buildings' in the Building Safety Bill.
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The Grenfell Tower Inquiry was set up to examine the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017. The public inquiry was formally set up on 15 August 2017.
The inquiry is separated into two phases and is chaired by Sir Martin Moore-Bick, a retired judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales.
The Building a Safer Future Charter was created to promote a positive culture and behaviour change in the safety of the built environment.
It sets out a series of commitments that will help put people’s safety first in how we plan for, design, build, maintain, and look after the safety of the buildings we live in to protect those that use them.
The Charter is a proactive response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s Building a Safer Future Review in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.