Laura Sharman 24 February 2020

High-rise residents warn worries over fire safety causing mental distress

High-rise residents warn worries over fire safety causing mental distress image

A survey of residents living in high-rise buildings in Manchester has found fire safety risks are damaging their mental health and wellbeing.

The report, published by the Greater Manchester High-Rise Task Force, found seven in 10 residents are worried about a fire in their building.

They said the worry is causing increased levels of anxiety, difficulty sleeping and putting a strain on their personal lives and relationships.

More than half of owner occupiers have also faced significant increases in service charges to make buildings safe, with some receiving demands of up to £30,000.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: ‘In Greater Manchester we are doing all we can to support our residents living in high-rise buildings. We are the first city-region to complete a survey of this kind documenting the perspective of residents living in high-rise buildings.

‘This report provides new insights into the fire safety concerns and financial worries faced by residents every day.’

Mayor Burnham and chair of the Task Force Paul Dennett are calling on the Government to support residents in high-rise buildings by reforming the funding regime for cladding remediation to end the ‘cladding lottery’, reversing cuts to the fire service, and removing VAT from the cost of any remediation works on buildings.

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