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10 Feb 2021 | 15:31

UK government to inject extra £3.5bn into cladding removal

(Sharecast News) - The UK government will provide a further £3.5bn to remove cladding in buildings in the wake of Grenfell Tower fire to "end the scandal". Nevertheless, the announcement sparked criticism, with ministers coming under attack for failing to act further on smaller blocks of flats on non-cladding safety defects, reported Sky News on Wednesday.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told MPs on Wednesday that ministers aimed to "finish the job we've started" on removing and replacing unsafe cladding from residential buildings following the 2017 tragedy.

He said that the focus is on the higher-rise buildings as an expert advisory panel told the government that is where the "overwhelming majority of the safety risk lies".

Jenrick also confirmed that there would be o direct cash for the removal of cladding on lower and medium-rise blocks of flats. Instead, there will be a long-term scheme of financial support.

"Under a long-term low-interest scheme, no leaseholder will ever pay more than £50 a month towards the removal of unsafe cladding, many far less," he added.

The government will provide direct funding to pay for the removal and replacement for all leaseholders in high-rise residential buildings of 18 metres and higher - or above six storeys - in England.

Mr Jenrick told MPs that "leaseholders in high-rise residential buildings will face no cost for cladding remediation work" as he outlined the fresh action.

He admitted, without this "exceptional intervention" from the government, that "many building owners will simply seek to pass these potentially very significant costs on to leaseholders as this is often the legal position in the leases that they signed".

The government has now committed more than £5bn to removing unsafe cladding following the Grenfell tragedy.
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