40,000 'Trapped' Living In Towers With Grenfell-Style Cladding

The government should hold landlords to account, Labour says.

Thousands of people living in private tower blocks with dangerous Grenfell-style cladding feel “trapped” and like their lives are on hold, the Commons has heard.

Labour has urged the government to do more to remove the aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding from privately-owned towers.

The call comes almost two years after the catastrophic fire in London’s North Kensington claimed the lives of 72 people, with the combustible cladding widely thought to have allowed the blaze to spread faster.

Shadow housing minister Sarah Jones said the government should say “enough is enough” and press housing providers to do more.

She said: “New figures today show that 40,000 people are still trapped in privately-owned blocks wrapped in Grenfell-style ACM cladding.

“Forty thousand lives on hold, weddings cancelled, mental health rife, trapped in properties that cannot be sold.

“The prime minister repeatedly said she rules nothing out, so when will the government finally say ‘enough is enough’, set up a loan fund for private blocks and get the job done?”

PA Wire/PA Images

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire said the issue remains a “priority” and he continues to consider “all other options” if companies fail to act.

He said: “I firmly recognise the stress, the strain, the anguish which so many people continue to live in as a consequence of this issue of ACM cladding on the outside of a number of these blocks.

“A growing list of companies such as Barratt, Mace and Legal & General are doing the right thing and taking responsibility, and in addition warranty providers have accepted claims on a number of buildings.

“I urge all owners and developers to follow the lead of these companies to step up to make sure this work happens.

“But I can say to (Jones) this is a priority for me, this is something I know needs to be advanced more quickly and I am considering all other options if they do not do so.”


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