Response to the Housing Select Committee report on the draft Building Safety Bill

24 November 2020

Responding to Housing Select Committee report on the Building Safety Bill, Victoria Moffett, Head of Building and Fire Safety Programmes at the National Housing Federation says:

"The recommendations in this report are very welcome. Housing associations have been saying for a long time that no leaseholder should have to pay for these fire safety repairs, so it is especially positive to see the Committee supporting this.

“We have also been calling for the government to urgently set out how it will cover the costs of all repairs up front. Housing associations tell us this would allow for swifter replacement of all dangerous materials on buildings, removing delays due to financial and legal complications.

“The current mechanism for accessing government funds for repairs is the £1bn Building Safety Fund. We agree this will not cover anywhere near the cost of all fire safety repairs. We estimate that for buildings owned by housing associations alone, the repairs will easily top £10bn, leaving leaseholders and charitable housing associations to pick up the rest.

“Finally, housing associations have been pressing ahead for the last two years with the expected recommendations in the Building Safety Bill - such as reviewing and improving their engagement with residents and appointing building safety managers. We agree with the Committee that the government must set out more detail on the expected recommendations so that housing associations can confidently continue to implement them.”