The Department for Communities has established a new £33 million fund for the reduction or elimination of fire risks to life safety in residential buildings in Northern Ireland that are associated with external wall systems.

A remediation fund for unsafe external wall cladding was announced The fund applies to residential buildings that 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 comes after the introduction of the Cladding Safety Scheme (CSS), which was created in England to address the life safety fire risks associated with cladding on residential buildings taller than 11 metres. The Department for Communities and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) have come to an agreement that allows for the processing and delivery of applications for Northern Ireland through the 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 towards 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.

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