Dangerous cladding to be tackled by new £1bn fund - but is it enough?
Good news for leaseholders trapped in dangerous blocks - but what about those who fall outside the new fund?
Dangerous cladding got one step closer to being dealt with yesterday, as the Government announced a new building safety fund worth £1bn. The fund will meet the cost of removing unsafe non-ACM cladding on high rise residential blocks over 18m high that don?t comply with building regulations. So some positive news at last for beleaguered leaseholders trapped in homes they can?t sell.
The new fund, which was included in the Budget in March, is aimed mainly at leaseholders in the private sector who are facing huge bills to replace dangerous cladding on their buildings. Many are also paying extortionate costs for waking watches while they wait for remediation of their blocks. The fund will also help people living in social housing, where the cost of replacing cladding systems would otherwise have to be paid by residents.
The fund will meet the cost of replacing non-ACM cladding systems where building owners are unable to do so and the Government hopes it will address some of the barriers to remediation being carried out quickly.
Registration for the fund opens in June and building owners can sign up until 31 July. Full guidance and an application process for buildings that meet the technical criteria will be available by the end of July 2020.
Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley, welcomes the news but doesn?t believe the fund will be enough to solve the full range of cladding problems that so many people living in residential blocks are facing. ?The government needs to support the removal of non-ACM cladding from buildings that are under 18 metres as well, as there is currently no support in place for those living in these types of buildings across the UK," she says.
?Recent tests have suggested that some other cladding types may not have been as safe as previously thought, and if proven to be dangerous, the government should step in and help fund the removal of these too.
?Separately, with the government looking to kickstart the housing market post-lockdown, one area of focus should be helping leaseholders and flat owners unable to sell, as they cannot secure an EWS1 form proving their building is safe."
This means boosting testing capacity - and that again may require additional government funding.
Is the £1bn fund enough? - what do you think?
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Author : Mary-Anne Bowring
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