A message from Ian McDermott, Chief Executive
Today marks the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire and four years later, thinking about the tragedy still evokes strong feelings for us all. Ever since that day, we’ve been working hard with our customers and partners to ensure that what happened at Grenfell, never happens again.
Catalyst’s roots in North Kensington means that many of our partners, customers and colleagues have been deeply and directly affected by the fire. We will always continue to do what we can to support them, both now and in the future.
It is right that the housing sector’s approach to fire safety has fundamentally changed because of Grenfell Tower, and what we’ve learnt from the Hackett Report and the Grenfell Inquiry. Despite the added challenge and pain of the pandemic over the last year, Catalyst has continued to prioritise and focus on building safety. The changes we’ve made in the last four years are here to stay, and we can never step back from our commitment to keeping our customers safe.
While we have made progress, fire safety is a continuous process, and we are by no means near finished. I do understand that some may feel the sector’s response has not been quick enough, but the scale of the problem is huge. Catalyst and our fellow housing associations have taken on significant learning over the last four years, and we now have a better understanding of what needs to be done to protect our customers. We know that the task ahead is considerable and will take time before we can see substantial progress.
Our current fire safety strategy means that we must prioritise our taller buildings, but we are wholly committed to reviewing all our homes and remediating as quickly as we can. We have already taken action to remediate buildings where we’ve identified issues, and this work continues as we work towards ensuring that every Catalyst customer lives in a safe, warm and comfortable home
I would also like to say directly to our customers; we are committed to you and your safety. If you have any concerns about your building, then I would encourage you to contact us immediately. You can also find out more information about fire safety on our website.
Today however, we must take time to remember those 72 innocent people who lost their lives four years ago, and the friends, family members and community that still mourns their loss. And as a landlord and registered social provider, all of us at Catalyst must commit to doing everything in our power to make sure this sort of tragedy can never happen again.