Cladding Scandal: £4.5bn safety fund for buildings over 18 metres reopened

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has today reopened a £4.5bn fund to cover improvement costs for buildings over 18 metres with dangerous cladding.

First launched in 2020, the Building Safety Fund has allocated £1.3bn to making homes safe, but many qualifying leaseholders are still awaiting reimbursement for covering safety costs.

Legislation is now fully operational to help tenants prove they are protected from historical building safety costs, meaning building owners who continue to seek payment for outstanding work could now face criminal action.

A new online Leaseholder Protections Checker has also been included in the relaunch, allowing tenants to see if they qualify for these financial protections.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up Greg Clark said: ‘We must make homes safe. The relaunch of the Building Safety Fund today will help achieve this, but we must also ensure those in industry who acted irresponsibly pay their fair share to put things right.

‘The Building Safety Act makes clear building owners’ liabilities and gives us powers to pursue those that continue to flout the rules.

‘It has also introduced far-reaching legal protections to relieve many leaseholders from the financial burden of fixing their homes. With these now fully up and running, I urge any homeowners who may qualify to see if they are eligible using our online Leaseholder Protections Checker as soon as possible.’

No scheme is in place to remediate costs of unsafe cladding for buildings between 11-18 metres high yet, but the government has reassured that a plan to address this will be announced soon.

According to Inside Housing, out of 3,212 blocks registered to the Building Safety scheme, only 199 had seen work paid for and just 41 had seen work completed as of last month.

Building owners and landlords are now responsible for paying to make buildings safe, after years of leaseholders having to pay for repairs and waking watch patrols themselves.

Former Housing Secretary Michael Gove brought in measures to make it illegal for cladding repairs and costs of non-cladding defects beyond leaseholder caps to be passed on to tenants.

48 of the UK’s major housebuilders have also signed the government’s Building Safety Pledge, agreeing to pay for repairs on building over 11 metres with critical fire safety defects.

Those that fail to do so have been warned they will be targeted by DLUHC’s new Recovery Strategy Unit and could face could face court.

Photo by Sophie Grieve-Williams


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