Social Rented Housing: Standards

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 14th July 2017.

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Photo of Liz Saville-Roberts Liz Saville-Roberts Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Women and Equalities) , Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether his Department will undertake a full review of all social housing properties making an assessment of safety in terms of resilience in a potential disaster, safety for human habitation and fitness for purpose.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma Minister of State (Communities and Local Government)

The Department wrote to local authority and housing association landlords on 18 June, setting out immediate actions that should be taken to identify residential tower blocks over 18 metres in height with aluminium type external cladding. The Department wrote again on 19 June to set out the process they should follow to submit samples of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding for testing.

On 30 June, we published a note at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/explanatory-note-on-safety-checks-and-testing. This note confirms the advice in those letters to local authorities, with further specific information about the tests being carried out.

On 6 July we published details of further tests to be carried out as the next step in helping landlords to ensure the safety of their buildings. These large scale tests will help establish how different types of ACM panels in combination with different types of insulation behave in a fire. Further detail about the next testing stage can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/expert-panel-recommends-further-tests-on-cladding-and-insulation.

All social housing must comply with the Home Standard which requires registered providers of social housing to comply with all statutory health and safety requirements, including fire safety requirements. The Social Regulator considers all referrals it receives to determine whether they could represent a breach of its consumer standards. If such a breach is found, the Regulator will intervene if it finds that the breach has caused – or may cause – serious detriment to tenants or potential tenants.

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