Safe cladding funding released

The government has, this week, released the first part of the £400m set aside to help with the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding on social housing high rise buildings. So far, £248m has been allocated.

31 housing associations and 12 local authorities have been allocated the money they require to carry out the necessary cladding removal work on any publically owned residential buildings that are over 18 metres in height. The money has been given with the intention of allowing housing associations and local authorities to carry out the work without it affecting other public services. 80% of the costs are paid upfront, and 20% once the full costs are known.

The funds have been distributed under an application scheme with 159 buildings applying thus far. 135 of these have been approved for this first tranche of funding. 12 buildings did not meet the criteria of being over 18 metres in height, had a different type of cladding or they were owned by commercial freeholders. A further 12 have been deferred awaiting more information.

James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Communities has stated that the safety of homes is a top priority and the replacement of cladding is therefore fully funded for social housing residents. He points out that private sector building owners are starting to step forward, with Barratt Developments, Legal and General, Taylor Wimpey and others engaged in the process.

The most recent figures indicate the over 75% of social housing buildings have completed or are undergoing remediation work where unsafe cladding has been installed and plans are in place for the remaining 25%. Interim fire measures are being used in all affected buildings for the duration of this work.