Government to fund £200m cladding replacement

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cladding replacement, James Brokenshire,
© Ben Gingell

The government has stepped in to cover the £200m bill to speed up crucial cladding replacement on around 170 private high-rise buildings

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire had previously said that owners would be responsible for the cladding replacement bill, not the taxpayer.

But he said the government funding would eliminate excuses used by some building owners and would protect leaseholders from the costs.

Some £200m will be made available to remove and replace unsafe aluminium composite material cladding from around 170 privately owned high-rise buildings.

This step has been taken after private building owners failed to take action and tried to offload costs onto leaseholders.

Prime Minister, Theresa May said: “It is of paramount importance that everybody is able to feel and be safe in their homes.

“That’s why we asked building owners in the private sector to take action and make sure appropriate safety measures were in place.

“And we’ve seen a number of private building owners doing the right thing and taking responsibility, but unfortunately too many are continuing to pass on the costs of removal and replacement to leaseholders.”

Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire MP, said: “Although temporary measures are in place to ensure people living in these buildings are safe, too many owners are treating this as a permanent fix. Others are trying to pass on the costs to residents by threatening them with bills running to thousands of pounds.

“While some building owners have been swift to act, and I thank them for doing the right thing, I am now calling time on the delay tactics of others. If these reckless building owners won’t act, the government will.”

The government also said it appreciates the work of Grenfell United and the UK Cladding Action Group who have campaigned prominently, outlining the challenges in getting private building owners to fund cladding replacement.

The latest figures show that 166 private buildings are yet to start works on removing and replacing ACM cladding, compared to 23 in the social sector.

Building owners will have 3 months to access the new cladding replacement fund.

Building owners and developers who have already fully funded the remediation of buildings are Pemberstone, Aberdeen Asset Management, Barratt Developments, Fraser Properties, Legal & General, Mace and Peabody.

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