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Leaseholders ‘will not bear costs of cladding removal’

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Housing minister Christopher Pincher said leaseholders will be protected from the costs of removing cladding from high rise buildings.

The remediation of more than 50% of privately owned high-rise residential buildings with unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding is being paid for by building owners and developers or through insurance, Pincher said in response to a written question from Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central.

The government is also providing £600m to “protect leaseholders in both the private and social sector from costs of removal of unsafe ACM, where other funding solutions cannot be found,” the minister added.

It comes after the government announced six months ago that it would provide funds to remove dangerous cladding from tower blocks, as 3.6 million people could face a decade wait to sell almost any modern flat because they cannot prove their walls are safe.

More than 2,700 applications have been received so far for the £1bn Building Safety Fund launched in July which will be used to remove unsafe non-aluminium composite material (non-ACM) cladding from buildings more than 18 meters high.

But by 25 September, just 138 decisions had been made by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Fewer than half of these have been accepted for funding by the department, with 73 being rejected and withdrawn.

Further, homeowners living in flats are finding it near impossible to remortgage where they cannot provide evidence of an external wall survey which confirms the building is free of combustible materials.