Since the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, housing associations have been inspecting their buildings for safety concerns and remediating them as a priority. There is nothing more important to them than the safety of residents and they are committed to this above all else.
We know that the work to ensure homes are safe has caused distress and worry for all residents who have been affected. Leaseholders of flats in affected buildings are facing some particular issues, including:
We do not believe that leaseholders should have to pay for works that have been caused by a systemic failure of building regulations. We give our full support to the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign and its aims, having been one of its original signatories.
We also know that leaseholders are often having difficulties remortgaging, moving, or buying extra shares in their home because mortgage lenders are asking for specific information about their building in an External Wall System (EWS1) form. During the second reading of the Building Safety Bill, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP, recommended that EWS1 forms should no longer be requested for buildings under 18m. This recommendation has been developed following the work of a group of independent experts who have explored a risk-based approach for managing safety risks in medium and lower-rise blocks of flats. We welcome this statement and the further work the government has committed to undertake to support residents and buildings owners of these buildings.
The housing association sector is committed to resident safety. Our members are continuing to inspect buildings for safety concerns and reduce any risks that are found, whether through remedial works as necessary or through mitigation measures where appropriate. The NHF will continue to work with the government to understand their future work on this topic and what it may mean for residents in affected buildings. We will also continue to engage with the government to support remedial works in buildings 18m and over to take place as quickly and diligently as possible.
In these pages you will find information on: