The Government’s pledge in February 2021 of an additional £3.5billion to help rectify unsafe cladding on high-rise buildings has been welcomed. Supporting people who find themselves living in a situation impacted by unsafe cladding could not be more important. There is understandably much keenness to implement the initiative quickly.
In the wake of the Grenfell tragedy on the 14th June 2017, the combustible cladding used on Grenfell and on buildings across England was identified as a major fire-safety concern which needed to be rectified.
Five-point plan to bring an end to unsafe cladding
- Government will pay for the removal of unsafe cladding for leaseholders in all residential buildings 18 metres and over (6 storeys) in England
- Finance scheme to provide reassurance for leaseholders in buildings between 11 and 18 metres (4 to 6 storeys), ensuring they never pay more than £50 a month for cladding removal
- An industry levy and tax to ensure developers play their part
- A world-class new safety regime to ensure a tragedy like Grenfell never happens again
- Providing confidence to this part of the housing market including lenders and surveyors
Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
“This is a comprehensive plan to remove unsafe cladding, support leaseholders, restore confidence to this part of the housing market and ensure this situation never arises again. Our unprecedented intervention means the hundreds of thousands of leaseholders who live in higher-rise buildings will now pay nothing towards the cost of removing unsafe cladding.”
It is encouraging to see the government taking the lead as the right place for debating this kind of vital legislation is at a senior government level. The plan will mean also that surveyors can accurately value properties and that leads to banks being able to support homeowners with the mortgage solutions they need.
Henry Knight, Managing Director of Springtide Capital commented: ‘The measures announced last month will mean people living in homes which they have been prevented from selling, or re-mortgaging, through no fault of their own, will finally be able to push forward. What happened at Grenfell Tower is an absolute tragedy and rectifying the problem with poor cladding on other buildings must be a national priority lead by the government, outlining a clear way forward.’
The government will work closely with industry on the next steps and further details on the scheme will be provided in the coming weeks. There is a huge challenge to be met by the government to bring about the biggest changes to building safety in a generation. The Government is expected to agree the Building Safety Bill this spring.