Industry News Victoria Barker 10/02/2021

Government announces £3.5 billion funding for removal of unsafe cladding

The Government will pay for the removal of unsafe cladding for leaseholders in high-rise residential buildings, the Housing Secretary announced today.

Robert Jenrick MP confirmed that the cost of replacing unsafe cladding for leaseholders in residential buildings will be fully funded by the Government where the building is 18 metres (6 storeys) and over in England.

Speaking to the House of Commons, Mr Jenrick unveiled a five-point plan to “bring to an end” unsafe cladding, which includes that:

  • The Government will pay for the removal of unsafe cladding for leaseholders in all residential buildings 18 metres (6 storeys) and over in England
  • A finance scheme for leaseholders in buildings between 11 and 18 metres (4 to 6 storeys) will be introduced ensuring they never pay more than £50 a month for cladding removal
  • An industry levy and tax will be introduced to ensure developers play their part
  • A 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

Low interest finance arrangement for lower-rise buildings

Home Office analysis of fire and rescue service statistics showing buildings between 18 and 30 metres are four times as likely to suffer a fire with fatalities or serious casualties than apartment buildings in general.

In the case of lower-rise buildings that are between 11-18 metres high, the Government has also announced today that a new scheme will be introduced offering financial support towards the cost of cladding removal, where this is needed. This will be through a long-term, low interest, government-backed financing arrangement.

As part of the scheme, the Government says no leaseholder will ever pay more than £50 a month towards the removal of unsafe cladding.

EWS1 and the Waking Watch fund

The Government is also working towards a state-backed indemnity scheme for qualified professionals who are unable to obtain professional indemnity insurance for the completion of EWS1 forms.

Last week, a new £30 million Waking Watch fund was also announced, which will pay for the costs of installing an alarm system in buildings with unsafe cladding. Common Alarms systems will enable costly Waking Watch measures to be replaced in buildings waiting to have unsafe cladding removed.

Cladding-have you been affected?

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