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Government issues statistics update on cladding remediation works in social sector

26 January 2021

ALL HIGH-rise buildings in the social sector and student buildings are now fully remediated or have work underway to remove unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding. That’s according to the latest set of statistics issued by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Around 95% of the highest risk buildings with unsafe cladding similar to that found installed at Grenfell Tower have been made safe or have work underway compared to a year ago, with work begin on 159 buildings last year compared to 90 in 2019. This means that more buildings were having remediation work conducted in 2020 than at any point previously.

The end of the year saw 31 buildings being completed between November and December, representing the highest monthly increase last year. Of the 45 buildings where work is yet to start, 13 were identified last year while seven are vacant and don’t represent a risk to resident safety.

Ministers are continuing to press building owners to take urgent action to make homes safer. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick commented: “The latest statistics show that, despite the pandemic, significant progress has continued to be made with remediation work either complete or on site for around 95% of buildings, rising to 100% in all social or student high-rise buildings.”

Jenrick continued: “This is a big step forwards. While there’s still more work to be done, we’re helping to make the highest risk buildings with dangerous cladding safer on a swifter basis.”

Building Safety Minister Lord Greenhalgh added: “Building owners are responsible for making sure that their buildings, and the people who live in them, are safe. Some owners need to do more. It’s unacceptable that a minority are yet to start remediation work. We’re in contact with the remaining buildings where remediation has not started. If work doesn’t begin on an urgent basis, we will take further enforcement action.”

Large-scale programme

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, the Government launched a large-scale programme to identify all high-rise buildings in England with unsafe cladding similar to that found on Grenfell and ensure those homes were prioritised for remediation work designed to make them safe.

Separately, the Government’s £1 billion Building Safety Fund is enabling faster remediation of high-rise buildings with other unsafe cladding. As of Friday 15 January, just under £100 million (£95.9 million, to be exact) had been allocated to projects.

The MHCLG has confirmed that remediation work should continue during the pandemic where it is safe to do so.

A Protection Board has been established with input from the Home Office and the National Fire Chiefs’ Council to provide further reassurance to residents of high-risk residential blocks that any risks are identified and acted upon.

In addition, Jenrick has made up to £10 million per annum of funding available to support the Protection Board who will provide expert and tailored building checks and inspections, if necessary, on all high-risk residential buildings in England by a due date this year.

*The statistics can be viewed in full at GOV.uk