Calls for government to cover Hackitt costs

Calls for government to cover Hackitt costs

THE NATIONAL Housing Federation (NHF) has called for the government to ‘cover costs’ of the requirements of a new system of building regulations outlined in the Hackitt Review.

Inside Housing reported on the calls from the NHF aimed at the government, which the federation said ‘should cover the costs that housing associations will face in complying’ with the new system of building regulations. The news outlet interviewed Victoria Moffett, the NHF’s Grenfell lead, who commented that there was a ‘moral argument’ for the government to cover the costs of implementing the Hackitt recommendations.

With the government reportedly planning to consult on legislation to ‘implement the changes by the end of the month’, the changes would be legal by 2021. David Montague, chief executive of housing association L&Q - an ‘early adopter’ of the recommendations – stated last month that the ‘additional burden’ will see the organisation’s operating margins fall by 4% a year for the next five years.

Details of the implementation plan from the government ‘have yet to be finalised’, but are expected to include information on the role of the dutyholder, and Tara Agarwal, director of technical compliance and quality at Peabody – another housing association that has adopted the recommendations as an ‘early adopter’, stated that the company had hired new building safety staff to ‘fulfil this responsibility’.

Ms Moffett commented: ‘Of course, if there are new requirements, it will cost money to ensure that those buildings are compliant with new requirements, which is absolutely something that housing associations are doing already and obviously are absolutely willing to do. You wouldn’t put a price on safety.

‘We’re operating in an environment of a building regulations system that wasn’t fit for purpose. It’s not the fault of anybody working within that system that we have to change everything. But to continue to deliver on our social mission to build more homes for the people that need them in a time of quite a grave housing crisis, we think there’s a moral argument for the government to continue to fund the remediation work as they did with the removal of ACM cladding.’