A new £33million fund for the remediation or mitigation of the life safety fire risks linked to external wall systems in residential buildings in Northern Ireland has been launched by the Department for Communities.
The fund applies to residential buildings which are over 11 metres tall. It will be used to remediate or mitigate the fire risks associated with exterior wall cladding that is potentially unsafe.
It follows the launch of the Cladding Safety Scheme (CSS) to address life safety fire risks associated with cladding on residential buildings over 11m in height in England. The Department for Communities has formed an agreement with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) that Northern Ireland applications can be processed and delivered through their Cladding Safety Scheme (CSS). In Northern Ireland, it will be administered by Homes England as part of the English scheme.
In Northern Ireland, the CSS funding applies to residential buildings above 11m where a responsible developer cannot be identified, traced, or held responsible.
A spokesperson for the Department for Communities said:
“This fund has been launched following ongoing consultation with residents, developers and owners of potentially affected buildings in Northern Ireland. Its primary aim is to make homes safe. However, it is also hoped that the fund will go some way restoring confidence to the market and easing the financial stress caused by inflated home insurance premiums and other associated costs for leaseholders who have been unable to sell their homes.”
Further information on the Cladding Safety Scheme is available here:
The Cladding Safety Scheme opened for new funding applications from Northern Ireland applicants on 7 August 2023.
Notes to editors:
- All funding decisions for the Cladding Safety Scheme will take a proportionate approach to risk and be based on the advice of fire safety professionals using the British Standards Institution code of practice (PAS 9980), which offers guidance to support proportionate recommendations.
- An initial pilot of the CSS opened in England in November 2022, targeting a small number of buildings that have interim measures or simultaneous evacuation measures in place. The pilot was expanded in 2023 and fully launched in England on 24th July 2023.
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