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Work to replace ACM cladding yet to finish on six out of 10 social blocks as deadline looms

More than half of social housing high-rise blocks are yet to have their aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding removed and replaced, less than four months before a government-imposed deadline.

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Cladding removal work yet to be completed on 62% of social blocks as deadline looms #ukhousing

Work has yet to begin on stripping cladding on 17 of the 158 high-rise social blocks identified as having Grenfell-style cladding, while remediation works are incomplete on another 81 blocks.

In the private sector, the situation is worse where cladding removal work is still to start on 168 (93%) of the 181 blocks identified as having ACM cladding.

Earlier this year the government said it expected the replacement of Grenfell-style cladding in high-rise blocks to be completed by June 2020, while social blocks were expected to be complete by the end of this year.


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Today the government launched a £200m fund to assist private owners with the costs of replacing ACM cladding.

Leaseholders told Inside Housing the fund was “starting to feel like a PR stunt” because of the tough barriers to applying.

A £400m remediation fund for social housing blocks was announced by Theresa May in May last year.

Inside Housing’s End our Cladding Scandal campaign calls on the government to act to end the scandal of residents trapped in private residential blocks with dangerous cladding.

End Our Cladding Scandal: what our supporters say

End Our Cladding Scandal: what our supporters say
  • Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, added: “It is shocking that out of the 176 private blocks with dangerous cladding that have been identified since Grenfell, only 10 have had the necessary safety work completed. While the government has pledged to fund the replacement of dangerous cladding in the social housing sector, there is no such promise for residents in private flats, which is why we are supporting Inside Housing’s new campaign to change this now.”
  • Kate Henderson, chief executive of the National Housing Federation said: "It should go without saying that everyone must be safe in their own home.

    "But dangerous cladding has been used on tower blocks of all tenures across the country because government fire safety regulations were not fit for purpose. The government must now take financial responsibility for ensuring that each and every home affected, no matter who owns it, is made safe and fast.”

  • Jane Duncan, chair of the Expert Advisory Group on Fire Safety at the Royal Institute of British Architects, said: “It is appalling that nearly two years on from the Grenfell Tower tragedy there are still buildings with cladding systems that have been identified as a risk to public safety. This must be rectified with immediate effect and individuals should not face financial hardship because of a past failure in regulation.”
  • Suzanne Richards, executive member for housing and regeneration at Manchester City Council, said: “I have heard first-hand the stories from residents about how living in a block that is not deemed fire safe can impact on their emotional health and well-being.

    “On top of this they have the additional worry of the threat of bills, of up to £80,000 in some cases, landing on their doormat.

    “This is unacceptable and government must now step in and fund post-Grenfell remediation works.”

  • Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, said: “Cladding has not been removed because freeholders and warranty providers do not want to take responsibility. These homeowners are stuck in a void with no end in sight.

    “Government needs to bang heads together and find a solution quickly because these people have been sold a duff product. If no one will take responsibility then government must step in and take action to protect people urgently.”

  • Andy Dark, assistant general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “It’s a scandal that residents who are living in tower blocks covered in flammable cladding and where basic fire safety is substandard have no certainty whatsoever that their homes will be made safe.

    “Whether publicly or privately owned, the remedial work needs to be completed quickly and the government must take responsibility for getting the job done.”

  • Martin Boyd, chair of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, said: “It has taken far too long for government to take action to remove dangerous cladding from thousands of people’s homes.

    “This has always been either the fault of regulations or the failing of the developer but nobody seems willing or able to challenge either group.”

  • Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse and co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold and Commonhold Reform, said: “No one should be left in the position of having worked and saved for years to become a property owner, to then learn – through no fault of their own – their home is no longer safe.

    “This campaign rightly highlights the consequences of inaction and I urge the government to take responsibility as a matter of urgency.”

  • John Biggs, mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “I fully support the campaign from Inside Housing calling on the government to fully fund all works needed to remove dangerous cladding from all housing blocks.

    “Ministers have rightly said their top priority must be to ensure that people are safe in their own homes, and it is entirely unfair to expect residents to find tens of thousands of pounds to fund this without any help whatsoever.”

  • Rushanara Ali, Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, said: “It is outrageous that two years after the Grenfell disaster there are still 40,000 leaseholders across the UK who are stuck living in unsafe blocks with dangerous cladding.

    “The government must move fast to replace flammable cladding on every building, no matter who owns it, and must do it now.”

  • David Walker, bishop of Manchester, said: "In Manchester and beyond, many months after the Grenfell tragedy, too many people are still living in apartments that do not adequately protect them against fire. Many are now faced with five figure bills to make good the deficiencies, and find their homes have become practicably unmortgageable. I applaud the efforts of Manchester Cladiators to bring together residents and others who share their concerns. The challenge is simple, to get developers, freehold owners and government to step up to the plate and accept responsibility for urgently rectifying this scandalous state of affairs."
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