Sheffield Cladding Action Group brand £3.5 billion fund ‘woefully insufficient’

The Sheffield Cladding Action Group has called a £3.5 billion fund to remove and replace cladding above 18 metres “woefully insufficient”.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 4:45 pm

The announcement was made by Robert Jenrick, housing secretary, in Parliament yesterday (Wednesday, February 10) who said it was the “largest ever government investment” in building safety.

It comes as many thousands of flat-owners face huge bills for fire-safety improvements brought in after the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Mr Jenrick also announced a new levy on developers of future high rises to cover the cost of grants, a separate new tax on residential property developments in the UK from 2022 and that owners of flats in lower-rise blocks would have to access loans to replace unsafe cladding but would not have to pay more than £50 a month for them.

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Hanover Tower in Broomhall

But the Sheffield Cladding Action Group said: “While it is welcome news that more 18m plus buildings will have cladding removed without leaseholders paying; the announcement sadly doesn’t address costs for leaseholders in all dangerous buildings. The new funds are still woefully insufficient.

“There was no mention of funding for under 18m buildings, other fire safety building defects, Waking Watch and the sky-rocketing insurance bills that are already bankrupting leaseholders.

“Homeowners should not be stuck with loans to fix the mistakes of the construction industry, while developers who have made over £10 billion in profit since the Grenfell fire are being let off lightly.

“Jenrick said ‘we believe in home ownership’ but affected Sheffield leaseholders feel completely let down by our government. We hope for legislation to free leaseholders now and believe fire safety laws need to be improved for the homes of the future.”

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In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.