Building safety standards
Building safety reform has one objective: saving lives. The UK and Scottish governments are travelling along different routes to this destination. The plan in Scotland is to focus on ‘reshaping’ the existing building standards system, while in England the focus is on fundamentally changing it through the Building Safety Act.
England and Wales
Back in 2021, two thirds of our Health of the Sector respondents in England and Wales believed that the Building Safety Act would achieve its aim – although almost a third were unsure as to how effective it would be.
Perhaps Judith Hackitt can take some pride in the fact that, after the release of her report ‘Building a Safer Future’, social housing organisations moved quickly to adopt its recommendations and so were already well ahead on compliance with the Building Safety Act when it took effect.
The sector has had to make some tough choices as it plans funding its compliance, however. In the absence of a cash injection from central government, and in the face of escalating construction costs, 84 per cent of our respondents plan simply to divert money that would otherwise have been spent on much-needed new homes and the essential maintenance of existing stock.
According to a report from Legal & General and the British Property Foundation, the sector needs to find £34bn each year to fund a 95,000-a-year shortfall in affordable homes.
How much of your total spend will be diverted to fund the requirements of the Building Safety Act?