Housing association hit by high-rise safety costs

Remediation expenses will not be passed on to leaseholders, says Thames Valley Housing Association

One of England’s largest housing associations (HA) has revealed a £105m hit to its balance sheet this year because of fire and building safety works costs. 

In a trading update for the London Stock Exchange, released on 16 January, Thames Valley Housing Association said the estimated costs of a five-year programme of fire-safety works to leaseholders’ properties will be ‘fully provided’ for in the current financial year.

The association, which owns and manages around 57,000 homes, will be writing down the value of its operating surplus for 2023-24. 

As part of the same review, Thames Valley has written down the value of its buildings facing a ‘materially reduced’ future expected life. 

The trading update says the association will seek to mitigate the £105m cost to its balance sheet by recovering cash from third-party contractors ‘wherever possible’. In the previous year, Thames Valley reported an operating surplus of £109m. 

The group announced last April that it would not be passing on the costs of any remediation works – which it is required to carry out under the government’s new building safety regime – to leaseholders living in five-storey-plus blocks. 

  • The Building Safety Regulator will focus its initial inspections on blocks still clad with the aluminium composite material (ACM) used at Grenfell Tower and built using large panel systems (LPS). A spokesperson for the watchdog, which has been set up to regulate the safety of high-rise accommodation, said it will prioritise blocks still clad with ACM and fast-track LPS blocks built between 1957 and 1973 that have not been remediated and have gas systems.