UK construction and property
- Housing retrofit | Housing Associations will share a £1.8bn retrofit fund to improve the energy efficiency of homes and public buildings. The Government estimates that 115,000 homes will benefit from the scheme.
- Investment market | According to real estate financial services firm Crestbridge, real estate is expected to experience some slowdown this year, but will be stable overall. Investors who pull out of the market will equal those who start investing.
- Health and safety | Unite reported that unannounced visits by inspectors have fallen by 31% over the last eight years. In London visits were 46% lower. There has also been a significant (51%) decline in the number of enforcement notices after inspections. Unite questioned whether the industry really is twice as safe today as it was eight years ago.
- Covid fraud | Less than 1% of the total £1.1bn Covid-loan fraud has been recovered. Construction News has found that more than 4,800 construction firms have been found to have made fraudulent claims. The total equates to 1.8% of all bounce-back loans which were issued
- Single stairs | London Fire Brigade has supported proposals for all new residential buildings above 30m to have two staircases, and said that existing buildings with a single staircase will still be safe if they have appropriate, and functional fire safety measures. The Chartered Institute of Building has asked for the proposals to be extended to 18m buildings.