Cladding crisis: People scared in their own homes

Several buildings in Islington are still not classed as safe

Friday, 9th July 2021 — By Helen Chapman

Claddingremoval Chalcots October 2017

THE government has been warned that people feel “scared in their own homes” due to the unsafe cladding crisis.

And with several buildings in Islington still not classed as safe, councillors were last night (Thursday) due to pass a motion demanding that the government covers the cost of interim safety measures.

Housing chief Councillor Diarmaid Ward said: “This is a matter for central government. They need to grasp the nettle on this one. They’ve got a responsibility to homeowners and shareholders who are scared in their own homes.

“This is happening in buildings right across the borough.”

Cllr Ward called for the government to cover the costs of replacement cladding and interim safety measures.

This week the government brought forward a new building safety bill to parliament containing measures designed to help leaseholders sue their building developers but it still leaves them with the potential of facing huge costs.

The Tribune previously reported how tenants are living in “constant anxiety” as they face hefty safety works bills.

The current crisis dates back to the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire tragedy which killed 72 people.

Councillor Diarmaid Ward

A whole range of issues beyond the cladding have been found in some buildings including dangerous insulation, cavity walls without proper fire breakers, timber balconies and inadequate fire alarm and extinguisher systems.

The bill to resolve the issues on each building is often estimated to run to millions of pounds.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “We know many people are worried. We’re protecting those in buildings between 11 metres and 18 metres from unaffordable costs, ensuring no leaseholder will pay more than £50 a month to remove unsafe cladding.

“This is on top of the more than £5billion to fully fund the replacement of unsafe cladding in highest risk buildings.

“We have been clear throughout that owners should make buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders – and we will ensure they pay for the mistakes of the past with a new levy and tax to contribute to the costs of cladding replacement.”

Related Articles