Residents moved from HA block after fire safety defects discovered

A national housing association has moved residents out of one of its blocks in Essex after discovering the need for “significant remedial works” to correct faults in the building’s fire safety.

Residents at Riverside Place in Braintree, owned by the Home Group, were told to leave their homes after an extensive survey uncovered fire safety defects. Many residents were moved into hotel accommodation, while others moved in with family or friends. The block is understood to be about six years old.

Details of the defects were not disclosed by Home Group but the association said customer safety is always its “paramount concern”. The association houses more than 120,000 people in 55,000 properties all across the country.

Matt Forrest, executive director of operations at Home Group, said: “During one of our routine checks, and a subsequent extensive survey, it became clear that significant remedial works are needed at our Riverside Place properties.

“We have been working very closely with Essex Fire Service and have put extensive safety measures in place while we carried out our checks. We have kept our customers informed throughout this process.

“These investigations showed that to complete the work required to bring the building to a safety standard that we are satisfied with, unfortunately, we will have to move our customers out of the building. We are aware that this will cause them significant disruption to their day-to-day lives.

“It is not a decision that we have come to lightly. However, our customers’ safety is, and always will be, our paramount concern. We will continue to engage with them every step of the way.”

By Patrick Mooney, Editor