It was the third anniversary of the Grenfell fire on 14 June 2020 but it is estimated that there are still around 2,000 residential buildings with potentially dangerous cladding. The housing, communities and local government committee has called on the government to make a commitment to remedy all fire safety defects by December 2021.
To tackle the issue of dangerous cladding a new £1 billion fund was announced when the Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his Budget to Parliament on 11 March 2020.
The purpose of this fund is to ensure the remediation of unsafe non-aluminium composite (non-ACM) cladding on residential buildings at least 18m in height which could pose a significant risk to the health and safety of the residents. The fund will meet the cost of the remediation where the building owner (or other responsible entity) is unable to do so.
Registration for access to the fund is now open. The person responsible for the building will need to act quickly as interest in the fund must be registered no later than 31 July 2020 or they will risk losing the opportunity. Further, as the fund is currently limited to £1 billion, funding will be on a first-come-first-served basis.
The eligibility criteria for the fund include:
- Buildings must be 18m or more in height;
- Supporting information is to be provided to confirm the current fire classification of the cladding system;
- A funding application will need to be submitted by December 2020;
- Building owners are expected to commence remedial works in the 2020/21 financial year;
- Proposed remedial works will need to ensure external walls adequately resist the spread of fire;
- The building owner/responsible entity must be unable to pay for the costs of remedial works themselves (most likely a means based test);
Further information on eligibility and how to register can be found here.