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Tue November 20 2018

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Social sector gets £248m to replace unsafe cladding

18 Oct The government has released £248m for the replacement of unsafe aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding on high-rise social-sector buildings.

The money is the first tranche of funding released from an estimated £400m announced by the prime minister earlier this year in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire

The buildings’ landlords - 12 councils and 31 housing associations - were told yesterday that they will receive the funding, which will be used for the removal and replacement of ACM cladding from 135 buildings standing 18m or higher.

Secretary of state for communities James Brokenshire MP said: “There is nothing more important than ensuring people are safe in their homes and that is why I am pleased the £400 million funding has started to be released.”

Applications were received for 159 buildings, and 135. The government has requested more information for 12 of the applications and will review these in December. Twelve applications were not eligible for funding because they didn’t meet the application criteria. It has also undertaken to review any other applications received, even though the 31 August deadline has now passed.

As the work is ongoing, 80% of the estimated costs will be provided upfront to ensure work can start with no delay. The government said that it will monitor the work closely and that the remaining 20% will paid once work is complete and the final costs are known.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government show that over 75% of social housing buildings with unsafe ACM cladding have completed remediation or are currently removing and replacing the cladding, with plans in place for the remaining 25%. Interim fire safety measures are in place in all affected buildings to keep residents safe until the cladding has been replaced.

Brokenshire said that he wants to see private sector landlords protect leaseholders from the costs of replacing ACM cladding. “I am pleased that a number have stepped forward to do so, including Barratt Developments, Legal & General, Taylor Wimpey, Mace and Peabody,” he said. “However, there are some who are not engaging in this process. If they don’t, I have ruled nothing out.”

Following the Grenfell Tower fire, the government established a comprehensive building safety programme that included an independent review of fire safety and building regulations. The government response to the review confirmed, following consultation, a ban on the use of combustible materials on all residential high-rise buildings above 18m. Full details of the ban and how the recommendations of the Hackitt review will be implemented will be published later this year.

MPU

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