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MPS say £15bn Building Safety Fund needed to remediate all fire safety defects

The Communities and Local Government Select Committee has said the government must do much more to remove all dangerous combustible cladding, saying the £1bn Building Safety Fund is inadequate.

The Communities and Local Government Select Committee has said the government must do much more to remove all dangerous combustible cladding, saying the £1bn Building Safety Fund is inadequate.

The comments are contained in it’s Cladding: Progress of Remediation report, which was published on 11 June, ahead of the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy on 14 June, and four weeks before the resumption of the independent inquiry.

Three years after the fire, which killed 72 residents of Grenfell Tower,  there are still 2,000 high-risk residential buildings (HRRB) with dangerous combustible cladding. These include 300 HRRBs still with ACM cladding, which was banned in November 2018, and 1,700 non-ACM combustible cladding.

Grenfell Tower (Credit: Chiral John (CC By 2.0)

The Committee said: “It is deeply shocking and completely unacceptable that, three years after the Grenfell Tower fire, there are still 2,000 high-risk residential buildings with dangerous cladding.”

“Residents are facing life-changing bills for more than just combustible cladding.”

Communities and Local Government Select Committee

It also said that £1bn Building Safety Fund announced in the 2020 Spring Budget, would not go far enough to remediate the 1,700 buildings with combustible non-ACM cladding above 18 metres, also raising a concern about  the 18 metre threshold. In January 2020, the government deemed that buildings below 18 metres could also be high-risk and require urgent remediation of dangerous cladding.

“An area of particular concern has been the restriction of funding to buildings above 18 metres,” said the Select Committee, citing organisations that were calling for consistency in policy and funding.

MPs therefore believe £1Bn will not be sufficient to remediate all 1,700 buildings with combustible non-ACM cladding above 18 metres and that the Building Safety Fund would need to be increased to address all fire safety defects in every high-risk residential building—potentially costing up to £15bn.

The report said: “Residents are facing life-changing bills for more than just combustible cladding. If the Government doesn’t provide additional funding, let us be clear: it means tens of thousands of residents sent massive bills for problems that aren’t their fault, and which, in many cases, will be a financial burden from which they will never recover; it means thousands fewer affordable homes, as councils and housing associations are forced to divert funds to remediation projects; and worst of all, it will mean that some works are never carried out.”

Read full report

Feature image credit:

Paula French P, Houses of Parliament from London Eye (CC By-ND 2.0)

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