Emotions, policy and collective action in housing safety crises

This report explores policy, emotions and collective action
through two case studies of housing safety crises. Both reveal
failures of regulation, Government, and private sector interests,
and have also driven widespread and long-term collective
action on the part of affected residents to seek redress for the
problems in their homes.

■ The building safety crisis in England, affecting multi-storey
blocks of flats – this is characterised by problems identified
after the Grenfell Tower fire, related to flammable cladding
and insulation, missing fire breaks, and other safety
problems. Progress to tackle these issues has been slow,
with hundreds of thousands of households stuck in homes
affected by building safety problems. Government funding
schemes to fix problems have gradually broadened, but
exclusions to support for some buildings and individuals

■ The defective concrete blocks or ‘mica’ crisis in Ireland – this
is characterised by the deterioration of concrete blocks,
resulting in cracking and crumbling walls. In some cases,
homes are also badly affected by damp and mould. There
are estimated to be 5-6,000 homes affected in Ireland. A
Government grant scheme to remediate defects opened
in 2020. Amid concerns about the cost of accessing the
scheme and shortfalls in funding, an enhanced funding
scheme opened in 2023. Despite increased provision,
there are important exclusions, for example relating to
foundations and holiday homes.

Two briefing papers are also available:

Policy, emotions, building safety

Policy, emotions, defective concrete



Author(s): Jenny Preece
Published: 25 June 2024
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