23/01/2024

Highrise Safety Cannot Progress Without Minister – Alliance

The Alliance Party has raised concerns that new safety plans by the Department for Communities designed to address fire safety in high rise buildings will not be delivered without a Minister to take them forward.

It follows the Improving Safety in High Rise Residential Buildings in Northern Ireland report, which was developed in response to the Grenfell tragedy. The Department will be seeking the views of residents of such buildings around safety issues, particularly in relation to fire safety.

Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA, said: "Alliance recognises the need for this legislation and improved safety measures, with protections for owners of flats in high rise buildings.

"Where significant adaptations are needed to comply with future legislation, there needs to be the option for the Housing Executive to be able to buy back flats or for the Department to provide financial support either by way of grant or loan, with long-term pay back options.

"However, legislation to allow that has not been progressed in the absence of an Executive. If we are to see safety measures taken forward and delivered for people, we need to see a Minister in place."


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