Private cladding funding considered post deadline
THE GOVERNMENT has stated that it will ‘continue to consider’ applications to its £200m private sector cladding remediation fund despite its 31 December 2019 deadline having passed.
Inside Housing reported on the announcement via the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) that it would ‘still consider’ allocating funding for applications that had not yet been completed ‘if they are submitted as quickly as possible’. The end of 2019 deadline however ‘will not be extended’, and MHCLG would not ‘reveal how long it would continue to consider applications’.
Additionally, organisations responsible for buildings affected by combustible cladding who have delayed applications ‘unjustifiably should expect further action’, though the nature of this was not specified. A number of affected flat owners had raised concerns late last year about the deadline being missed due to ‘onerous conditions’ required for applications, including undertaking surveys to ‘ascertain the full costs’ as well as getting signed state aid forms from all leaseholders.
Government figures from December 2019 showed that as of 30 November, only two applications to the fund had been approved, while completed applications for 29 buildings had been submitted – though 95 buildings were ‘in scope’ at that time for funding, and work on most of the 175 remaining privately owned high rises had not yet been confirmed via funding from building owners or warranty claims.
Inside Housing noted that the government has set a June 2020 deadline for aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding to be removed and replaced on all privately owned blocks, and that it is working alongside named contacts ‘at each affected building’ to speed up the work.
An MHCLG spokesperson stated: ‘It is completely unacceptable that people are having to live in buildings with unsafe ACM cladding on them. We have made £200m available to building owners to deal with this problem and announced legislation in the Queen’s Speech to strengthen enforcement powers to hold building owners and managers to account.
‘We have written to building owners to reiterate their responsibility in keeping residents’ safe and we will not hesitate to name and shame those who do not have a clear plan to safeguard their residents.’