The National Housing Federation (NHF) has suggested there has been a failure to “promptly and accurately” record samples of cladding submitted by social landlords.
In a response to Sajid Javid’s attack on the sector for not sending in panels for testing quickly enough, the NHF said there were “instances of data [submitted to government] not being processed”.
Associations and councils are currently sending samples of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding to the government to be tested for combustibility in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Yesterday, Mr Javid said the government believes there are 46 council-owned towers and 194 housing association-owned towers that have ACM cladding.
He claimed 52 association-owned towers have not yet been tested, adding that “five weeks is too long to still be investigating” and “there is no excuse for any housing association not to have completed” this work.
But Simon Nunn, executive director of member services at the NHF, said: “We know from working closely with our members that the process of submitting data has, at times, been challenging and that there have been instances of data not being processed.
“We acknowledge this is an enormous task for government and housing providers, but housing associations need to be confident that their responses are being captured promptly and accurately – this has not always been the case in recent weeks.
“Our absolute priority throughout has been to ensure our members’ residents are safe, and we will continue to work closely with government in this process.”
It is understood from housing association sources that the sector has become increasingly frustrated with the Department for Communities and Local Government’s testing regime in recent weeks.
Providers are believed to have been listed as not having submitted cladding for testing, despite having sent samples to government inspectors.
Mr Javid also revised the total estimate of aluminium-cladded buildings down to 240 from 530.