No money paid out for removal of Grenfell-style cladding on London’s private sector tower blocks
Not a single penny has been given out for the remediation of private sector tower blocks with Grenfell-style cladding in London. This comes despite at least 58 private sector blocks in the capital being eligible for the Government’s remediation fund, which opened in September 2019. Labour’s London Assembly Fire and Resilience Spokesperson, Andrew Dismore AM, who obtained the information in a written answer from the Mayor of London, said the Government should be considering all options, including compulsory purchase, where building owners are leaving residents at risk.
According to information from the Mayor, just £49,595 has so far been allocated to remediate private sector residential towers with aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding – like that used on the Grenfell Tower – in London. With not a single building eligible for the fund yet to submit a full works application, none of this money has been paid out.
Funds for both the remediation of private and social sector blocks are administered by the Greater London Authority (GLA) in the capital, but the process is set by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The GLA says it is working hard to administer the funds but said “ultimately, however, pace is dictated by the Applicant.”
The slow rate of progress is replicated across the country. The latest building safety data shows that just 1 of 82 applications to the fund received nationwide has had full costs approved. Across the country, 174 private sector tower blocks have yet to be remediated, and 23 have been fixed. Of the 174, only 92 are eligible for the fund and the remaining 105 are to be funded by a warranty (23), the developer/freeholder (75), or have no clear plan (7).
Earlier this month, the Government announced measures to speed up remediation. This includes a pledge to name and shame owners who have not started remediation by next month.
Labour’s London Assembly Fire and Resilience Spokesperson, Andrew Dismore AM, said:
“The almost total inactivity in distributing the private sector remediation fund is symptomatic of the Government’s failure to grasp the urgency of the matter.
“These delays are completely unfair on leaseholders who are left living in buildings wrapped in a material that is so dangerous it’s now been banned outright. This stress is surely compounded by the fact some leaseholders are having to pay out of their own pockets for interim safety measures, such as waking watches.
“I agree with the Government that building owners who are dragging their feet should be named and shamed, but this should have been happening right from the start. We’re now two and a half years on from the Grenfell fire, and the Government should be considering all options, including compulsory purchase, where building owners are leaving residents at risk.”
- Information about the amount of money allocated for, and disbursed under, the cladding remediation fund was provided to Andrew Dismore AM in written responses from the Mayor of London, here and below:
Monday, 23rd December 2019
Officers are drafting a response.
Cladding remediation fund December update (1)
Tuesday, 7th January 2020
The GLA is working hard to administer the Cladding Remediation Funds as swiftly as possible and my team is in daily contact with Applicants to bring forward applications urgently. Ultimately, however, pace is dictated by the Applicant. As of 12 December 2019:
- At least 58 private sector tower blocks in London are eligible for the remediation fund according to an answer given by the Mayor to a question from Andrew Dismore;
- The Government has set up a £400million fund for the remediation of social sector buildings with ACM cladding and £200million fund for private sector buildings. In London, this money is administered by the GLA as it holds the powers of Homes England. However, the process is set by MHCLG;
- Building safety data showing the number of nationwide applications for remediation funds can be found here;
- Across the UK, 174 private sector tower blocks have yet to be remediated, and 23 have been fixed. Of the 174, only 92 are eligible for the fund and the remaining 105 are to be funded by: a warranty (23), the developer/freeholder (75), or have no clear plan (7). Information found here;
- New measures set out by the Government to improve building safety standards can be found here;
- Andrew Dismore is the London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden.