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 agreed to establish a Residential Building Safety Team to implement these recommendations. As the 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."

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.                

A Roadmap to Residential Building Safety

The Department is developing a roadmap which will outline how it proposes to address the recommendations of the Expert Panel. It is anticipated that the roadmap will be published in spring 2024. 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.

Information session for industry stakeholders

The Residential Building Safety Team is hosting an information session, for industry stakeholders, to introduce their work and explain how they intend to address the Expert Panel’s report recommendations.

The session will take place at 11am on 5th March in Isdell Courtyard, Riddel Hall, 185 Stranmillis Road, Belfast, BT9 5EE. Please register with the Residential Building Safety Team in advance via email or by telephone on 028 9082 3209.

Frequently Asked Questions

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



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