As a social landlord, our main priority is ensuring the safety of your home and building. We are responsible for making sure your buildings are safe and meet all fire regulations, and we take this responsibility very seriously.
We have recently appointed a new building safety director, Andy Mackay, to lead on all aspects of building safety for our whole organisation.
Formerly director of health and safety at Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) and with over 20 years’ experience of working for housing associations, Andy brings a wealth of knowledge to this new role.
Andy said: “Ever since the Grenfell inquiry, fire and building safety has been a high priority. At the beginning of 2020, housing secretary Robert Jenrick announced a new set of measures to improve building safety; to stop unsafe building practices or to fix properties that currently fall below adequate safety standards.
“A major part of my role will be ensuring that NHG responds effectively to the enhanced requirements of the new legislation.”
One of the building safety measures that the government is focusing on is around cladding, after announcing it would fully fund the removal of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding, along with any non-ACM cladding if it is deemed unsafe. As a result, NHG, along with all other housing providers in the UK, have been required to test the external facades on all its buildings to determine if it is unsafe and if it is, to arrange for its removal.
Andy continues, “We have started to rank our properties that have cladding, so we can prioritise those we wish to order first, based on factors such as building height, construction materials used and the evacuation strategy, among others. Unfortunately, this process will take some time. In response to the Governments announcements lenders have been refusing to grant mortgages on properties with cladding which has yet to be tested, leaving many of our leaseholders who have been trying to sell or buy further shares in a property unable to do so.
“We are urging any of our leaseholders that are thinking of selling their property, staircasing or re-mortgaging, to contact us before making any financial commitment.”
With further government measures expected to be introduced, building safety remains a moving picture, and one which Andy has committed to remaining abreast of while giving assurance to customers.
Kate Davies, chief executive at NHG, said: “Recruiting for the role of building safety director was tough given the challenging and frequently changing landscape.
“I am confident that we have made a strong appointment in Andy, and I have every confidence in his ability to lead us through the challenges with his strong background in safety and finance.”