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Regulator of Social Housing updates on fire safety in English social housing sector

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Fire safety remediation in social housing receives new report from RSH

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has released its second report on the fire safety conditions of buildings taller than 11 metres within the English social housing sector.

The publication, dated 22 February 2024, delves into the ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of these structures and highlights the essential roles that boards and councillors play in overseeing landlords’ adherence to their legal obligations towards building safety.

Majority of buildings comply with fire safety assessments

According to the report, approximately 98% of the buildings in question have undergone fire risk assessments, affirming a significant level of compliance within the sector.

For the few remaining structures, assessments are scheduled to be completed within the next nine months.

This demonstrates a comprehensive approach to identifying and mitigating fire risks across social housing properties.

Remediation work on track for completion by September 2028

The findings also reveal that remediation efforts to address Life Critical Fire Safety Defects, particularly those associated with External Wall Systems, are either finished or slated for completion by September 2028 for the majority of the reported buildings.

This forward momentum is crucial for ensuring the long-term safety and well-being of tenants.

Will Perry, Director of Strategy at RSH, emphasised the urgency of these remediation efforts: “Landlords must take timely action to remediate fire defects in the buildings they are responsible for, so that tenants are safe and can feel safe in their homes.”

He further highlighted the responsibility of governance bodies to oversee the execution of safety plans and the upcoming programme of inspections starting April 2024 as part of RSH’s regulatory engagement.

RSH’s commitment to monitoring and engagement

RSH has pledged to continue its close monitoring of landlords’ progress in addressing the fire safety concerns of buildings taller than 11 metres.

This includes ensuring that legal obligations are met and that any issues are promptly resolved to safeguard tenant safety.

The report serves as a reminder of the critical role that effective governance plays in the social housing sector, particularly in the context of fire safety.

IFSJ Comment

The latest report from the Regulator of Social Housing offers a clear picture of the sector’s dedication to ensuring tenant safety.

The emphasis on the accountability of boards and councillors underlines the collective responsibility within the housing sector to address safety concerns effectively.

As the RSH moves forward with its new inspection programme, the continued focus on safety and compliance will undoubtedly contribute to creating safer living environments for tenants.

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