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COVID-19 Property news

Government pays £1 billion to release apartment leaseholders from cladding nightmare

Some 600,000 leaseholders within towers fitted with unsafe cladding will soon be able to sell their homes now that their freeholders can apply for government funding to complete the work.

Nigel Lewis

The estimated 600,000 apartment owners who have been unable to sell their homes because they live in tower blocks over 18 metres tall fitted with unsafe cladding are to be helped with a further £1 billion in funding.

A Building Safety Fund has been launched by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government which will pay for freeholders to remove the type of dangerous cladding that led to the fire within the 24-storey Grenfell tower in London just under three years ago.

The government’s decision to bear the huge financial burden of paying for the removal and replacement of cladding on hundreds of privately-owned towers across the UK will be a huge relief to homeowners within them, who have been unable to sell their homes since the cladding scandal broke.

Building owners will be able to apply for funding on Monday, which will include cash to install sprinkler systems in all residential towers over 11 metres tall.

“I will not accept any excuses from building owners who have yet to take action and those responsible should register for the fund so that they can start the remediation process immediately,” says Housing secretary Robert Jenrick (left).

“I have also reached an agreement with local leaders so that this important work can continue safely during the pandemic.”

So far 144 privately and publicly owned high rise buildings in England have had their cladding replaced and 313 need work doing to them of which 84 are privately owned and nine of these have yet to have any work started, latest government data shows.

Read more about the cladding scandal.

 

 

May 27, 2020

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