The Ministry of Housing is to inject £200m to speed the removal and replacement of aluminium composite cladding (ACM) from nearly 170 privately owned high-rise buildings, following delays in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.
The Government announced that it will be funding the removal, a step which it says has been taken “after private building owners failed to take action and tried to offload costs onto leaseholders.”
Building owners will have three months to access the new fund, and the Government will “look carefully at those who fail to remediate and consider what further action can be taken.”
The latest figures reportedly show that 166 private buildings are yet to start works on removing and replacing ACM cladding, along with 23 in the social sector.
Housing Secretary James Brokenshire MP, commented on the announcement: “Although temporary measures are in place to ensure people living in these buildings are safe, too many owners are treating this as a permanent fix. Others are trying to pass on the costs to residents by threatening them with bills running to thousands of pounds.”
He added: “While some building owners have been swift to act, I am now calling time on the delay tactics of others. If these reckless building owners won’t act, the Government will.”
In its statement, the Government also noted its appreciation for the work of Grenfell United and the UK Cladding Action Group, who it says have “campaigned prominently, outlining the challenges in getting private building owners to fund the replacement of cladding on their homes.”