Categories: Breaking News, Safety

Report reveals key findings in fire safety remediation for English social housing

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The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has published a crucial report on fire safety remediation in the English social housing sector, particularly focusing on buildings over 11 meters in height.

This report comes at a critical time, underscoring the responsibilities of social housing landlords in ensuring the safety of their tenants.

Overview of the report’s findings

The survey, which included housing associations and local authorities, reveals significant data regarding the fire safety of 11-meter-plus buildings in the social housing sector.

Key findings include:

  1. High Rate of Compliance: 98% of buildings have undergone fire risk assessments, with an additional 1% planned for assessment in the next six months​​.
  2. Building Stock and Responsibility: The survey reported a total of 15,405 buildings over 11 meters, including 11,230 buildings between 11-18 meters and 4,175 buildings over 18 meters. Notably, private registered providers (PRPs) are responsible for 58% of these buildings​​.
  3. Identification of Defects: A significant number, 1,608 buildings, were identified with life-critical fire safety (LCFS) defects related to external wall systems (EWS). Of these, 57% are 11-18 meter buildings, and 43% are over 18 meters​​.
  4. Progress in Remediation: As of August 2023, remediation work is complete on 7% of the buildings with EWS-related LCFS defects. Another 25% are undergoing remediation, and plans are in place for an additional 37%. Importantly, 77% of these buildings are expected to be remediated within the next five years​​.
  5. Non-EWS Defects and Costs: The survey also gathered information on non-EWS defects and the costs of remediation, which is subject to further analysis and will be detailed in subsequent reports​​.

The importance of timely fire safety remediation

The report emphasizes the crucial role of boards and councillors in comprehending landlords’ legal obligations concerning building safety management.

The need for prompt action in addressing identified issues is highlighted, along with ensuring that legal obligations are met.

Statement from Will Perry, Director of Strategy at RSH

In a significant remark, Will Perry, Director of Strategy at RSH, stated: “Landlords must understand their buildings, manage them safely, and take timely action to remediate fire and other safety defects so their tenants are safe and can feel safe in their homes.

“We will continue to engage with providers to ensure this remains a high priority.”

RSH’s ongoing commitment

RSH is actively following up with providers whose responses indicated potential delays or inadequacies in assessing or remediating the buildings they are responsible for.

This proactive approach aims to ensure that all social housing entities adhere to the required safety standards and take necessary actions for tenant safety.

The full report can be found here.

IFSJ Comment

The RSH’s findings are a significant step in understanding and improving fire safety in English social housing.

The high rate of fire risk assessments and remediation plans indicates a robust response from landlords.

However, the differentiation in remediation progress between different building heights suggests varied challenges in managing these structures.

This report serves as a reminder of the continuous need for vigilance and improvement in fire safety standards, especially in the context of social housing, where the impact on vulnerable communities can be profound.

The commitment of RSH to follow up with providers ensures that fire safety remains a top priority, reinforcing the importance of safety and security for all tenants.

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