Media Hub My Account
Back to News

Grenfell Tower - fifth anniversary



Remembering Grenfell

Five years on from the Grenfell disaster when 72 people lost their lives and many more were injured, traumatised and bereaved how far have we got in ensuring that nothing like this ever happens again?

The Grenfell enquiry grinds on, exposing how profits were prioritised over people’s safety, how privatisation, deregulation and cost-cutting weakened our country’s approach to building standards and how lack of respect towards those living in social housing may have compounded these issues. We have new legislation – the Fire Safety Act 2021 and the Building Safety Act 2022 – and a plethora of new guidance and regulation, and alongside this a huge demand for resources and skills in order to meet these new expectations and requirements.

So, what have we done here at Origin since then?

  • We committed to fire safety as our number one priority and built a highly skilled team of fire safety experts, further investing in their training and qualifications
  • Kept up to date with changes to the fire and building safety regime and best practice, and incorporated these into our approach to fire and building risk management
  • Completed a review of all buildings over 18 metres high and removed ACM cladding from one block – securing access to limited government grant funding to do so
  • Completed one of the first Fire Safety cases in the country (a detailed review of building construction and components) and begun work on the next – focusing on engaging residents in the process
  • Developed a prioritised programme of detailed intrusive surveys of all our buildings over 11 metres
  • Put in place emergency measures such as fire alarms and evacuation strategies where major remediation work has been required
  • Pursued developers and insurers to remediate and pay for building safety defects
  • Directly invested £24.4m in remedial work to buildings
  • Provided residents with the information they need on fire safety and responded to their concerns

But there is more to do..…..In the next five years have set aside a further £62m to pay for the ongoing programme of inspection and remediation – with our estimates based on what we have found so far and we will:

  • Ensure we have a full understanding of all the emerging secondary legislation and detailed guidance
  • continue with our risk-based review of our buildings
  • work to ensure better value for money and high levels of competence from our contractors
  • continue to invest in skills and expertise
  • develop more robust data and improve record keeping
  • engage with our residents more effectively to help keep them safe from fire

There is no doubt that this is challenging in the face of limited resources and competing priorities for investment, rising costs and labour and skills shortages, but our commitment to making sure that our residents are safe in their homes is undimmed.