Government releases first wave of cash to remove ACM cladding from social sector highrises

THE Government has released the first wave of funding to social landlords so that they can pay for the removal of dangerous cladding from highrise residential buildings.

In May 2018, the Prime Minister announced that a £400 million fund would be set aside for the removal and replacement of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding from buildings that are 18 metres or more in height.

The find is intended to help councils and housing associations meet the costs of removal and replacement so that it doesn’t affect other aspects of service provision.

Now £248 million has been released to social sector landlords to make their properties safe.

“There is nothing more important than ensuring people are safe in their homes and that is why I am pleased the £400 million funding has started to be released,” said communities secretary James Brokenshire MP.

“We are doing the right thing by residents and fully funding the replacement of unsafe ACM cladding in social housing buildings 18 metres or above.

“In the private sector, I want to see landlords protect leaseholders from these costs. I am pleased that a number have stepped forward to do so, including Barratt Developments, Legal & General, Taylor Wimpey, Mace and Peabody. However, there are some who are not engaging in this process. If they don’t, I have ruled nothing out.”

According to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG), applications have been approved for 135 buildings, with 12 from councils and 31 from housing associations.

A further 12 applications were declined, the ministry said, as they didn’t meet the application criteria. These will be review once further information has been received.

“As this work is ongoing and costs are estimated and [therefore] subject to change, 80% of the estimated costs will be provided upfront to ensure work can start with no delay,” the ministry said. “The work will be closely monitored by the Government and the remaining 20% will paid once work is complete and the final costs are known.”

According to the latest Building Safety Programme figures, in England there are 468 highrise buildings over 18 metres high with ACM cladding. These are residential buildings of publicly own buildings. Of these:

  • 159 are social-sector residential buildings, managed by local authorities or housing associations
  • 295 are private-sector buildings, of which 205 are private residential, 28 are hotels, and 62 are student accommodation
  • 14 are publicly-owned buildings, comprising hospitals and schools
  • There are approximately 30 private-sector residential buildings where the cladding status is still to be confirmed – this has fallen from approximately 170 buildings in June and 60 buildings in August

Of the 159 social sector buildings 22 (14%) have finished the remediation work, including receiving sign off from building control where that was necessary. The process of remediation has started on a further 99 buildings (22%). The remaining 38 buildings have plans for remediation in place.

Of the 295 private-sector buildings: 10 have finished remediation, including receiving sign-off from building control where necessary; 26 have started remediation; remediation plans are in place for 67 buildings but remediation works haven’t started on these buildings yet; 68 buildings where there is an intention to remediate and plans are being developed; and a further 124 buildings where plans for remediation remain unclear – the number where plans for remediation remain unclear has fallen from 200 since August.



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