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|Home>||Fire||>Risk Assessment||>Government unveils £1 billion Building Safety Fund for dangerous cladding removal|
Government unveils £1 billion Building Safety Fund for dangerous cladding removal
16 July 2020
BUILDING OWNERS are urged to act and put the safety of residents first as the Government’s £1 billion Building Safety Fund to remove dangerous cladding has been launched by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.
The news comes as the Government publishes its prospectus for the Building Safety Fund which will meet the cost for remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems on residential buildings in the private and social sector that are 18 metres and over and do not comply with the Building Regulations.
This fund is predominantly targeted at supporting leaseholders in the private sector facing significant bills. However, the Government is clear that, for leaseholders living in buildings owned by providers in the social sector, it will provide funding to meet the provider’s costs which would otherwise have been borne by leaseholders. The Government expects landlords to cover these costs without increasing rent for their tenants.
The Government is already providing £600 million for the replacement of ACM cladding systems, in turn bringing total funding for remediation up to £1.6 billion.
Ministers have been clear that they expect building owners who are already remediating their buildings to continue to do so. They should explore every opportunity to fund this work before seeking funding from Government or passing on costs to their leaseholders.
The Building Safety Fund’s application process has been designed to enable projects to proceed at pace with building owners, freeholders or others responsible for the building urged to register such that applications can be progressed alongside the development of the remediation project.
Approved Document B
The Government has also published an amendment to the statutory guidance to Approved Document B. When they come into force, these changes will ensure sprinkler systems and consistent wayfinding signage are mandatory in all new high-rise blocks over 11 metres tall.
The Housing Secretary, mayors and local leaders have also pledged to ensure vital building safety improvements continue during the Coronavirus pandemic. This will help to ensure the safety of those living in high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding (or insufficient fire safety measures) is prioritised.
Robert Jenrick explained: “The removal of unsafe non-ACM cladding from buildings is work that must take place as an absolute priority to keep residents safe and brings total funding for remediation up to the £1.6 billion mark. I will not accept any excuses from building owners who have yet to take action. Those responsible should register for the Building Safety Fund such that they can start the remediation process immediately. I have also reached an agreement with local leaders so that this important work can continue safely during the pandemic.”
Jenrick continued: “New statutory guidance also means that all new residential buildings over 11 metres tall will be fitted with sprinkler systems. This is another critical part of our commitment to delivering the biggest changes to building safety for a generation.”
Removing flammable cladding
Building Safety Minister Lord Greenhalgh observed: “Now that this additional £1 billion funding is in place, building owners must crack on with removing flammable cladding on all high-rise residential buildings that are over 18 metres. The Government will work with the Mayor of London and our Metro Mayors, as well as local councils, to ensure that these vital building safety works are finally carried out and people are safe in their homes.”
The Fire Safety Bill, which was introduced to Parliament last month, will empower Fire and Rescue Services to take enforcement action and hold building owners to account if they do not comply with the law.
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