The government has set up a £200m fund to replace unsafe Grenfell Tower-style cladding on around 170 private high-rise residential buildings across the UK.
The decision to make the funds available follows the tragic 2017 fire at the west London tower block that killed more than 70 people, with cladding cited as the main cause for the rapid spread of the blaze.
The money will be made available to building owners to remove aluminium composite material cladding.
This step has been taken after private building owners failed to take action and tried to offload costs onto leaseholders.
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, said: “It is of paramount importance that everybody is able to feel and be safe in their homes.
“That’s why we asked building owners in the private sector to take action and make sure appropriate safety measures were in place.
“And we’ve seen a number of private building owners doing the right thing and taking responsibility, but unfortunately too many are continuing to pass on the costs of removal and replacement to leaseholders.
“I can confirm we will now be fully funding the replacement of cladding on high-rise private residential buildings so residents can feel confident they are secure in their homes.”
The government has already fully funded this work in social housing developments. However, private developers and freeholders have been too slow to act and leaseholders have been threatened with significant, often unaffordable, costs resulting in delays.
The latest figures show that 166 private buildings are yet to start works on removing and replacing ACM cladding, compared to 23 in the social sector.
Building owners will have three months to access the new fund.
Housing Secretary James Brokenshire commented: “Although temporary measures are in place to ensure people living in these buildings are safe, too many owners are treating this as a permanent fix. Others are trying to pass on the costs to residents by threatening them with bills running to thousands of pounds.
“While some building owners have been swift to act, and I thank them for doing the right thing, I am now calling time on the delay tactics of others. If these reckless building owners won’t act, the government will.”
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