NEWS
09/05/2019 07:20 BST | Updated 29/05/2019 14:31 BST

Grenfell: Government To Fund Replacement Of Unsafe Cladding After Private Owners 'Fail To Act'

The move will cost an estimated £200m.

The government is to fully fund the replacement of unsafe Grenfell-style cladding on around 170 high-rise private residential buildings after private building owners “failed to take action”.

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire admitted he had changed his mind on demanding freeholders pay up for safety work in the wake of the Grenfell disaster.

The Government said the move, which will cost of an estimated £200 million, was being taken because private building owners “tried to offload costs onto leaseholders”.

Around 20,000 people live in buildings which use the now-banned type of cladding.

 

 

Campaigners welcomed the news, with Grenfell United, a group of survivors and the bereaved, saying it offered hope to people feeling at risk at home.

Building owners will have three months to claim the funds, with one condition being that they take “reasonable steps” to recover the costs from those responsible for the cladding’s presence.

Announcing a new Government fund for building work, Brokenshire told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’ve seen a number of building owners and developers coming forward and doing the right thing.

“Indeed, even with this announcement today, many are saying they stand by the commitments they have made and will be funding and not passing on the costs to those leaseholders.

“But what has been striking to me over recent weeks is just the time it is taking and my concern over the leaseholders themselves – that anxiety, that stress, that strain, and seeing that we are getting on and making these buildings safe.”

It comes after almost two years of inaction from some building owners, some of whom tried to make leaseholders foot the bill.

Campaigners welcomed the news, with Grenfell United, a group of survivors and the bereaved, saying it offered hope to people feeling at risk at home.

Building owners will have three months to claim the funds, with one condition being that they take “reasonable steps” to recover the costs from those responsible for the cladding’s presence.

A total of 72 people died as a result of the fire at Grenfell Tower in west London on 14 June 2017.

Lord Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said the announcement was an “enormous relief to leaseholders who are in no way to blame for the dangerous cladding on their homes”.

He added: “They have suffered for far too long.