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Housebuilders Expected to Sign new Fire Safety Pledges Imminently

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Housebuilders are expected to sign new fire safety pledges imminently as the DLUHC is close to finalising revised contracts, with a spokesperson stating the department will “not accept any backsliding.” 

Earlier in 2022, a grand total of 48 developers across the UK signed Housing Secretary Michael Gove’s ‘developer pledge.’ This pledge has committed them to fix ‘life-critical’ safety fire defects. 

With developers having to backdate commitments on their own blocks by 30 years, individual housebuilders have pledged more than £2bn so far. 

The revised contracts have now been reworked to ensure housebuilders feel comfortable signing them amid ongoing discussions between lawyers for DLUHC and the Home Builders Federation (HBF).

Legally binding contracts hope to fix unsafe buildings

A spokesperson said: “We are finalising the legally binding contracts that developers will sign to fix their unsafe buildings, and expect them to do so very soon. We will not accept any backsliding on their commitments.

It is building owners’ legal responsibility to ensure all buildings are safe. We expect developers and building owners to work at pace to fix their unsafe buildings to ensure people feel safe in their homes

A spokesperson for the Home Builders Federation said: “We continue to engage constructively to agree on a contract that aligns with the commitments made in the pledge’.

Past relationships have been tense; will this change?

Moving forward, the DLUHC and HBF will be looking to build on previous relationships with Gove, as he was reported as describing housebuilders as a “cartel.” In the past, he has refused to meet with representatives of volume housebuilders during his previous tenure as housing secretary.

Gove has previous with housebuilders after using aggressive tactics to persuade housebuilders to pay for repair to safety defects, threatening to stop their trading if they don’t pay.