Government to ‘announce £5 billion grant’ to help cladding crisis
The Government is expected to announce billions of pounds in funding to help tackle the cladding crisis more than three and a half years after the Grenfell Tower disaster. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick is due to address the Commons on Wednesday where it is believed he will set out a package of measures.
According to reports, plans under consideration include a £5 billion grant on top of the £1.6 billion safety fund that leaseholders can currently apply to.
It is also reported that grants to remove cladding will only be available to those living in buildings higher than 18 metres, with those in smaller ones having to rely on loans for the cost of the work.
Conservative Stephen McPartland has previously said the Government “has been incompetent” in its handling of the cladding crisis.
And the Stevenage MP told the Times: “It is clear they don’t have a grip on the situation and their incompetence is creating this problem. Millions of leaseholders are facing financial ruin and we will not accept loans.
“They are not a solution, they are a disgraceful betrayal.”
Ahead of the announcement, the National Leasehold Campaign tweeted: “Another sleepless night for leaseholders worried sick about what @RobertJenrick will announce tomorrow regarding their futures.
“Please Robert you have a chance here to save millions. They ALL deserve this. Please don’t help some & not others.”
Mr Jenrick’s announcement comes amid growing criticism of the Government’s response to the cladding crisis in the wake of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people.
The fire was sparked by a fault in a fridge-freezer and spread quickly to several floors of the west London tower with the cladding and insulation cited as the cause for the rapid progression of the blaze.
The House of Commons has previously heard how huge numbers of people, especially leaseholders, are “stuck in the middle” and living in “unsafe homes” which they cannot sell, but are being asked to “foot the bill” for remediation works.
Earlier this month, Labour demanded the creation of a national taskforce to “get a grip” on the cladding crisis, with their opposition motion supported by 263 votes to zero.
Residents of buildings with flammable cladding have said it has made their flats “worthless” and they are “trapped” and unable to sell the properties.
At last week’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Boris Johnson said: “We are determined that no leaseholder should have to pay for the unaffordable costs of fixing safety defects that they didn’t cause and are no fault of their own.”Published: by Radio NewsHub