London Councils has described the housing secretary’s announcement of new funding to address the cladding crisis as “undoubtedly welcome”, although boroughs insist further government action on fire safety issues is still required.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive Member for Housing & Planning, said:
“London has a significant number of high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding, so many Londoners will be relieved by the government’s announcement.
“The question of how to fund the removal of unsafe cladding has been a pressing concern for many years. We have always been clear that extra resources are needed for remedial work in social housing and that leaseholders should not bear the burden resulting from a failed regulatory system either.
“This additional investment is undoubtedly welcome – but it isn’t enough to bring the cladding crisis to an end. We question the decision to impose an 18-metre threshold for funding remedial work, meaning that buildings below that height with unsafe cladding won’t benefit. This is arbitrary and unfair – and boroughs will continue to press for funding to address all unsafe buildings.
“We also believe local authorities need robust powers for entering, inspecting, and enforcing safety action in leaseholder-owned properties in multi-occupancy residential buildings. As it stands, councils have uncertain legal rights – which undermines our efforts to undertake whole-building safety works.”