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Lives are at risk unless the next government acts on cladding, warn affected residents

The next government will be putting people at risk of dying in a Grenfell-style fire if it does not act to end the dangerous cladding crisis, residents of affected buildings have warned.

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“Our lives are at risk unless politicians act,” warn residents of blocks with dangerous cladding #ukhousing #EndOurCladdingScandal

@ukcag and @McrCladiators warn their lives are at risk unless the next government acts on dangerous cladding #ukhousing #EndOurCladdingScandal

In a call to political parties to take more decisive action to end the cladding scandal affecting hundreds of buildings across England, residents have warned that the response so far has left tens of thousands of residents trapped in dangerous homes.

Many are facing crippling bills of up to £80,000 each to pay for the removal work and have the threat of bankruptcy or homelessness hanging over them if they do not pay.

There are 318 high-rise buildings that still have Grenfell-style cladding, while thousands of others are thought to be affected by dangerous materials of other kinds.


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Ritu Saha, a founding member of the UK Cladding Action Group and a resident of an affected building, said: “No political party standing at this election has yet put forward a plan to properly deal with the cladding crisis which has gripped the country since the terrible events at Grenfell Tower two-and-a-half years ago.

“Unless swift and decisive action is taken to identify the buildings and make them safe, there will be another fire. Our lives are at risk unless the next government solves this crisis.”

Fran Reddington, founding member of the Manchester Cladiators and a resident, added: “Asking leaseholders to pay for this work is unfair and unsustainable. People will go bankrupt or be thrown out of their homes and the work will simply not get done.

“The current approach has failed. Whoever wins this election must now promise to do better.”

After Grenfell, 436 buildings above 18m with similar cladding were identified but remediation work has completed on just 116. In the private sector, just 15 of 184 blocks have finished the work.

No work has yet been carried out to identify buildings with other forms of dangerous cladding or the risks to 100,000 medium-rise buildings which fall below the 18m cut off.

Along with Inside Housing, the resident groups have established the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign, which calls on the next government to establish a building safety fund to help cover the remediation work and set up a national taskforce to take control of the response.

Ministers have previously set aside £400m for the social sector and £200m for the private sector to pay for the removal of Grenfell-style cladding from residential buildings taller than 18m.

However, concerns have been raised about the administration of this latter fund, while affected residents are calling for all buildings to be affected by the cladding scandal, including those shorter than 18m or wrapped in other types of dangerous materials.

The Conservative manifesto pledges to continue to work with the industry to ensure that every home is safe and secure, support residents and continue with its “rigorous” materials testing programme, but does not make any concrete commitment on funding.

Labour has promised to “enforce the replacement of dangerous Grenfell-style cladding” on high rises.

End Our Cladding Scandal: general election campaign asks

End Our Cladding Scandal: general election campaign asks

The next government must:

  • Create a ‘building safety fund’ to help pay for the necessary remediation work to affected buildings in the social and private sector – not just those with ACM cladding and above 18m
  • Set up a taskforce, with the involvement of residents, capable of inspecting buildings, prioritising and ordering work and ensuring leaseholders are protected from unnecessary costs

End Our Cladding Scandal general election campaign: full coverage

End Our Cladding Scandal general election campaign: full coverage

The cladding scandal is far from over. Here’s why we need a fresh approach

Click here to read the full story

Ahead of the general election, Inside Housing revisits our national cladding scandal and sets out what needs to be done to prevent any further tragedies. Peter Apps reports.

 

The cladding crisis Down Under: what we can learn from the response to Grenfell in Australia

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Five years ago a fire spread up Grenfell-style ACM cladding on a high-rise in Melbourne. This prompted an overhaul of the Australian state of Victoria’s building safety regime. Peter Apps finds out what the UK could learn.

 

More than 100,000 buildings outside scope of fire safety measures, minutes reveal

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There are more than 100,000 medium-rise homes that fall outside new regulations aimed at making buildings safe in the aftermath of Grenfell, including the ban on combustible cladding, Inside Housing can reveal.

 

It’s only a matter of time until the next Bolton unless the parties step up to the plate on fire safety

Click here to read the full story

Inside Housing’s new election campaign calls on the main political parties to commit to taking action to prevent what currently seems like an inevitable further tragedy. It’s time for everyone to step up, writes Martin Hilditch.

 

Leaseholders fear missing out on £200m cladding fund as bidding deadline approaches

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Leaseholders living in blocks seeking government funding for the removal of Grenfell-style cladding have raised concerns over meeting the deadline for applications, while criticising the lengthy process being run by the government.

 

Government refusing to test polystyrene panels, despite request from London boroughs

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The government has no further plans to carry out testing of cladding products despite a specific request from London boroughs to test systems comprising polystyrene, a document obtained by Inside Housing has revealed.

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