Residential Building Safety

In 2021 the Department of Finance commissioned an Expert Panel to investigate the safety of high-rise residential buildings in Northern Ireland. The report, which was published on 7 December 2023, identified a number of issues with the current system, and presented a series of recommendations to help address these issues.

Report recommendations and the Residential Building Safety team

The Department of Finance Expert Panel's full report is available to view online.

The Department for Communities has established a Residential Building Safety Division to implement these recommendations. As the expert panel's report primarily addressed the issue of fire safety in high-rise residential buildings, this will be the initial focus of the Team. It is anticipated however, that further aspects of residential building safety will come under its remit in due course. The main purpose of the Team will be:

“Developing, implementing, and maintaining a system based on sound policy and legislation that manages the whole life of residential buildings and promotes a culture of safety."

Roadmap: Improving Safety in High Rise Residential Buildings - Implementation of NI Expert Panel Report

The Department has published a roadmap to communicate the proposed approach and actions for the newly formed Residential Building Safety Division's work programme. It outlines how the recommendations of the NI Expert Panel report will be addressed and considers the wider recommendations of the Hackitt Reports and the work progressed across the UK and in other relevant jurisdictions.


As the work set out in the roadmap progresses, engagement will take place with all stakeholders including residents, building owners, the construction industry and manufacturers, and other interested parties from the public and private sectors. 

If you are interested in taking part in a forum to progress this important work, please let the Residential Building Safety team know using the contact details below.

Cladding Safety Scheme

The Cladding Safety Scheme (CSS) is a fund that addresses fire risks associated with cladding on residential buildings. The Department for Communities has an agreement in place with the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) for Northern Ireland applications to be processed and delivered through the CSS. Further information on the Cladding Safety Scheme can be found online.

Defective Premises Bill

A Defective Premises Bill was brought before the Assembly on 20 May 2024. The proposed legislation would extend the limitation period for actions taken in relation to defective or damaged buildings from six years to 15 years prospectively, and from six years to 30 years retrospectively. This would achieve parity with the legislative position in England and Wales. Impact assessments have been carried out and can be accessed here.

Frequently asked questions

A list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) has been developed. It will be updated accordingly as the project develops.



Back to top