High rise cladding figures increase
THE LATEST data from the government showed that 10 further blocks have been discovered to have combustible aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding.
Inside Housing reported on the new data, which added that the number of ACM clad buildings awaiting remediation work ‘has risen by one’ due to 10 further such buildings being identified last month. In total, 319 of 446 buildings with ACM ‘are still awaiting remediation’, with all 10 newly identified buildings privately owned – and their discovery meant that the completion of works on nine other blocks was ‘eclipsed’ in the last month.
As a consequence, the number of blocks awaiting completion is one higher than previously, with Inside Housing highlighting that previous Housing Secretary James Brokenshire had promised ‘all but a handful’ of social housing blocks affected would have had ACM removed by the end of this year. In fact, 93 of 159 social blocks with ACM are ‘still outstanding’ in terms of cladding removal work, while with a June 2020 deadline for private blocks ‘just’ 19 of 194 have seen work completed.
Of the private blocks with cladding to be removed, 148 have ‘yet to start’ works, with only two having ‘so far’ undertaken the process of applying for government funding (), and only one is ‘currently in a position to actually draw down the cash’. Inside Housing stated in turn that the blocks with cladding remaining contain an estimated 23,700 flats, so ‘upwards of 50,000 people’ are ‘likely to still live’ in buildings with combustible cladding.
The news outlet stated in turn that there are thought to be ‘thousands – perhaps tens of thousands’ of medium rise buildings with ‘other forms’ of combustible cladding that are ‘currently excluded’ from the government’s current plans for remediation. Blocks in question are ‘primarily concentrated’ in London and the north west, specifically Greater Manchester.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government commented: ‘Residents’ safety remains our priority and it’s reassuring to see almost all high-rise residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding have remediation plans in place, underway or completed. The government is committed to ensuring that residents are safe in their homes, now and in the future, and that’s why we are fully funding the removal of unsafe ACM cladding from high-rise social and private residential properties.’