New evidence has revealed the scale of the cladding crisis could impact up to 500,000 people, as a coalition of property managers urges the government to increase funding to remediate all unsafe buildings
In an open letter to the new chancellor, Rishi Sunak, the group of property managers has urged the government to step in to help solve the cladding crisis.
Without support, leaseholders may be left having to pay the price, which is likely to run into the billions.
500,000 people live in unsafe buildings
The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) has conducted an analysis of apartment buildings in the UK and found that over half a million people may be living in unsafe buildings that passed building control when they were built.
Materials now deemed to be unsafe include High Pressure Laminate (HPL) – which has been found to be at least as flammable as the ACM cladding that was used on Grenfell Tower – however, the government’s existing fund is limited to ACM cladding.
The freeholder signatories are coordinating remediation work on buildings with ACM cladding in every major city in the UK, but the process has revealed numerous additional safety issues and there are concerns that the cost of fixing these problems will fall on to residents unless Government steps in.
Given the scale of the task, the group is calling for a multibillion-pound, government-backed fund to be established so that these buildings can be made safe as soon as possible.
Dr Nigel Glen, CEO for ARMA, said: “The Grenfell tragedy highlighted the dangers of ACM cladding, but it has also revealed a much wider building safety crisis which could affect over half a million people.
“These buildings are being fixed by building owners and managing agents as quickly as possible but, without Government support, the process could take decades and leave leaseholders with life-changing bills on top of the anxiety that has already been caused.”
Martin Boyd, Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, added: “Nearly 1,000 days after the Grenfell tragedy there is a huge amount of worry among leaseholders that the problems are getting worse, not better. The government must help find solutions rather than just telling everyone these are complex problems.”