Building a safer future consultation response

30 July 2019

The Government has proposed a fundamental reform of the building regulatory system, as outlined in the Building a Safer Future consultation.

We have gathered feedback from our members and submitted a response that highlights what the proposals mean for housing associations, implications for our sector, and key things for the Government to consider.

We fully support the Government’s proposals to reshape the building regulatory system, and our sector is committed to adopting the new responsibilities proposed. We want to work with the Government and other partners to achieve our shared aim of keeping residents safe and ensuring that a tragedy like the fire at Grenfell Tower never happens again.

Our consultation response includes case studies from across our members membership to highlight the following:

  • Safety will always remain our top priority.
  • Our calls for a risk-based approach to the scope of buildings.
  • An explanation of why the diversity of our sector impacts building safety regulations.
  • The importance of ensuring housing associations have the capacity to implement the proposed new system.
  • How prioritising spend on safety works and new requirements could redirect funds for the supply of new homes.
  • Our support for the new dutyholder regime, including a more effective regulatory and accountability framework for buildings.
  • Our focus on tenant engagement, and putting residents at the heart of the new regulatory system.

We have also highlight that the Government can further support the sector by:

  • Establishing a Building Safety Fund, to pay for the one-off costs building owners will incur to ensure their buildings meet safety requirements.
  • Leading a strategic response to unresolved safety remedial works on existing buildings to speed up essential work to ensure residents’ safety.
  • Providing clarity and transparency on information such as the ongoing testing programme for other types of non-ACM combustible cladding, and the completed testing programme on glass-reinforced plastic fire doors.
  • Granting stronger powers of access to dutyholders in occupation, directly linked to their responsibilities for whole building safety in the new system.