Buildings: Insulation

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 2nd March 2022.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Chair, Women and Equalities Committee, Chair, Women and Equalities Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what guidance has been issued to mortgage lenders on the requirement for an external wall survey for blocks of flats under 18 metres.

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Minister for Housing)

An EWS1 form is not a statutory or regulatory requirement nor ​a​ safety ‘test’. The measures in the January Statement, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-sets-out-new-plan-to-protect-leaseholders-and-make-industry-pay-for-the-cladding-crisis, provide a clear framework for proportionate risk assessments whilst encouraging lenders to base their risk management on the presumption that medium risk buildings are safe, unless there is evidence to the contrary.

Government also supports the independent expert statement from July 2021 which was clear that there is no systemic risk of fire in residential buildings under 18 metres and that EWS1s should not be required by lenders on buildings under 18 metres.

We will continue to challenge industry on the use of the EWS1 process, as well as pressing for more data so that we can have greater assurance that EWS1 requests are proportionate, including in buildings under 18 metres.

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