26 July 2017
Update to investors in response to direct enquiries about fire safety following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017
- Have you provided communication to all tenants following the Grenfell Tower disaster?
Metropolitan has issued a number of public statements on its website and social media. In instances where there has been a requirement for more site-specific information to residents and stakeholders, this has been provided in the form of hand-delivered letters.
Immediately following the Grenfell Tower fire, Metropolitan established a dedicated central fire safety review working group to respond to concerns and queries follow the tragic incident. The group, sponsored by Jenny Danson, Interim Chief Executive and Executive Director of Housing Services, has been drawn from specialists in the organisation’s Asset Management, Development, Housing, Service Delivery, Care & Support, Health & Safety, and Communications teams. The group is complying with all requests for information from the Government, regulator and other relevant authorities, as well as responding to enquiries from residents.
The group is also carrying out an urgent review of Metropolitan’s multi-storey properties, starting with the highest and prioritising buildings with cladding systems. In addition to information on its website, Metropolitan has written to all residents living in high-rise buildings to explain how it manages fire safety where they live.
The summer edition of Metropolitan’s newsletter, which is posted to all residents’ homes and published on the website, will be distributed in August 2017. It contains a feature on the organisation’s response to the Grenfell Tower fire and the fire safety measures in place, as well as fire safety guidance and sources of further information.
- What % of your housing stock has been (or will be) assessed for high risk materials, including external cladding, following the incident?
Metropolitan has reviewed its high-rise building over seven storeys and is reviewing its blocks which are greater than five storeys in height. It is prioritising its tallest buildings and those with retrofitted over-cladding. These blocks represent <1% of the owned stock.
- At what % of your housing stock have high risk materials, including external cladding, been identified?
<0.5% of the owned stock. Metropolitan has reviewed all of these cases, and put appropriate measures in place
- What % of your housing stock is in buildings six storeys in height or more?
- What proportion of your high-rise housing stock has in-built sprinkler systems?
All of Metropolitan’s buildings greater than 18 metres in height, constructed after 2007, have sprinklers installed in line with the building regulations of that year.
- What steps has senior management taken following the Grenfell Tower disaster?
Metropolitan has set up a dedicated central fire safety review working group. This comprises senior staff from across the business, who are reviewing all fire safety issues. The group’s focus was initially on the tallest blocks in Metropolitan’s portfolio (in line with initial Department for Communities and Local Government enquiries) and is now working through lower rise blocks and those with any form of cladding.
In instances where concerns have been raised, additional fire safety measures have been put in place and there has been liaison with the local fire authorities.
- Has the Board requested further information on health and safety activities following the Grenfell Tower disaster?
The Board has discussed the issue of fire safety at length following the Grenfell fire, and fire safety is a standing item on the risk register.