The Building Safety Fund must cover all buildings, regardless of height, and a range of internal and external fire safety defects, not just cladding.

The Building Safety Fund announced in March was a welcome step forwards, marking the first time the government acknowledged a need to fund the remediation of buildings clad in products other than the aluminium composite material (ACM) used on Grenfell Tower.

However, it has substantial limitations. It is restricted to buildings over 17.7m in height, meaning around 88,000 buildings between 11m and 18m require remediation work but have no recourse to funding.

The fact that recent fires in BarkingCreweWorcester Park and Bolton all occurred in buildings below 18m shows the risk of this approach.

It also fails to offer funding for serious defects, such as missing fire breaks or combustible balconies, leaving leaseholders on the hook for bills reaching into six figures. This is not just about cash, without funding this work simply will not get done.

Buildings where work has already started and leaseholders have taken crippling loans to fund it are also excluded, such as the Skyline building in Manchester.

Finally, this fund is enough for between 450 and 600 buildings. A reported 2,957 have registered, meaning many will miss out.

Originally posted in Inside Housing on 27/09/20 by Peter Apps

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