Here's our latest statement following the fire at Hallam Court, in Whitehorse Road, Croydon, last Wednesday (7 June):
The London Fire Brigade have said it’s probable the fire at Hallam Court was started by a barbecue on a balcony. This is a serious breach of our tenancy agreement, and we regularly warn residents of the dangers of barbecues on balconies. We’re relieved no one was hurt in the fire.
As an organisation we’ve been pro-active in tackling fire safety in our homes and we committed to carrying out a PAS9980 assessment at Hallam Court by March 2023. This was completed and we wrote to our residents in April 2023 to inform them of its findings. The independent fire safety engineer concluded that the building was safe to occupy.
The letter to Southern Housing from Hallam Court residents on 31 May relates to building remediation work that we raised with them in April. This letter from residents was in response to what we shared with them in April rather than highlighting any new fire safety issues to Southern Housing.
Southern Housing have continued to follow the Government’s changing guidance on building safety, including the PAS9980 assessment which was introduced in January 2022. The national shortage of qualified assessors has made it incredibly challenging for housing providers across the country to carry out the PAS9980 assessments.
The programme of fire safety remediation works we’re carrying out is based on the advice of independent fire safety engineers which we’ve followed.
We’ve allocated a further £324 million of additional funds to tackle fire safety issues and have recently taken the decision to significantly scale back our new build development programme to help free up resources for safety works to our existing homes.
We were also one of the first major housing associations to announce we wouldn’t recharge leaseholders for any fire safety remediation works we undertake related to PAS9980 assessments.
Our staff worked overnight following the fire to assist all residents and alternative temporary accommodation was found for those who needed it. We’re continuing to support all residents at Hallam Court and keep everyone updated on the actions we’re taking following the fire.