Hackitt – Building Safety Consultation Announced

Below is a communication from Victoria Moffett, Grenfell Programme Lead at the National Housing Federation, following a consultation report from the Government based on the Hackitt review. 

————————————————————————————————————

Today the Government published its consultation, Building a Safer Future: Proposals for Reform of the Building Safety Regulatory System.

About the consultation

This is a major consultation setting out the Government’s proposals for implementing the recommendations of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, which will improve the safety of high rise buildings.

Following this consultation, we expect the Government to put forward a Bill in Parliament in early 2020 to enact the legislation required.

Our response

We welcome the Government’s proposals and we agree there needs to be radical improvements to our current regulatory system. In particular, it’s really positive to see the Government adopt the recommendations for clear lines of accountability.

We will provide a member briefing shortly that outlines what the proposal means for housing associations. In the meantime, I have provided some initial commentary below.

  • The Government has proposed that enhanced requirements apply to buildings of 18m and over in height and seeks views on applying regulations to other buildings where vulnerable people sleep.
  • The proposals set out specific responsibilities for different accountable people involved in the whole lifecycle of a building, including residents.
  • There is more detail on the recommended gateway points at which a regulator will review the safe construction of a new building, together with proposed requirements for enabling buildings to be occupied.
  • The Government has adopted recommendations to ensure a golden thread of information for a building and proposed mandatory adoption of digitised record keeping to enable this.

Next steps

The Government is keen to hear what people who live in high rise buildings think about the proposals. We will respond to the consultation process, working closely with our members, government departments, local authorities and other stakeholders to submit our response. Our briefing will provide more information on how you can feed into this.

We have two upcoming building safety events that will focus on today’s new consultation, outlining its implications, and gathering feedback on what it means for housing associations:

We hope to see you at these events so we can shape a sector response together.

You can download the full consultation report from the Government’s website. The deadline for responses is 31 July.