Our response to the Government’s cladding announcement
12 February 2021
The Government has announced plans to address dangerous cladding on high rise buildings which includes £3.5bn of additional grants for leaseholders in buildings over 18 metres (or six stories), and low-cost loans for those in shorter blocks that need cladding replaced.
We welcome the Government’s guarantee that leaseholders in taller buildings will not have to pay anything towards the removal of unsafe cladding. We also note that the financing arrangement for leaseholders in buildings under 18m will be capped at £50 per month.
We will need to wait for more detail to be made available; including when the money will become available, how the Government will distribute it, and which buildings meet requirements.
It is important to note that both of these commitments apply only to the removal of unsafe cladding. We understand this will follow the same rules as the current Building Safety Fund. This does not cover interim costs (e.g. waking watches) or internal works to buildings meaning that potentially significant costs are ineligible for government funding. Network has already set aside £100 million over five years to pay for building safety work, which is money we’re not able to invest in other improvements to our homes or building much needed affordable homes.
We’ve made it clear we don’t think leaseholders should pay and we will exhaust all possible options first before we pursue any charges. But depending on further announcements we may be left with no choice but to ask leaseholders in certain schemes to pay for certain costs in the absence of funding. We will keep you updated on individual investigations and works to your building and any support that we can make available to you.
We welcome the Government’s formal endorsement guidance from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which they said would mean that half a million leaseholders in blocks over 11 metres won’t need a separate EWS1 assessment to get a mortgage. We hope this will help some of our leaseholders.
We will provide more information to residents when further details are announced.