New £200m fund to replace cladding is ‘bitter pill to swallow’

New £200m fund to replace cladding is ‘bitter pill to swallow’

Northpoint in south east London is one of the buildings covered in cladding

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The founder of the UK Cladding Action Group has the announcement of a new government fund to replace Grenfell-style cladding on around 170 high-rise private residential buildings is “a bitter pill to swallow”.

The Ministry of Housing said action was being taken because "private building owners failed to take action and tried to offload costs onto leaseholders".

The replacement of unsafe aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding on these private properties is estimated to cost £200 million.

Rachel Loudain, who lives in a tower block in east London, told talkRADIO’s Eamonn Holmes: “We are relieved that the government is taking action because it has been such a horrendous experience these past 21 months.

“I think it is a very important decision but this does not cover everyone affected by the fire safety issues so it is a bitter pill to swallow.”

The Ministry of Housing defines a high-rise building as above 18 metres tall, so residential blocks below that height will not be covered by the new fund.

Ms Loudain said: “Some people are coming home from work and then patrolling the building because that is what is needed to ensure that it actually stays open. They are their own fire wardens.”

Ms Loudain claimed that nearly 40,000 people are currently being affected by cladding on their buildings.

“It is a very difficult situation and I appreciate how complicated it is but we have been campaigning for 21 months now,” she added.

“And, throughout that period we have met hundreds of residents who are suffering with their mental health.”

Read more

Government to spend £200m replacing unsafe cladding on high-rises

£200m 'will not go far enough' in fixing dangerous cladding