HCLG Committee questions Lord Greenhalgh on forced loans and non-cladding costs

When Lord Greenhalgh (Minister for Building Safety) and Richard Goodman (Director-General for Building Safety at MHCLG) appeared before the HCLG Committee on 8th March, it was already 1,363 days since the Grenfell tragedy. Forty-five months. Almost four years. Yet there was still no sign of urgency in solving the building safety crisis for the thousands of leaseholders who remain trapped.

Leaseholders frequently tell us they have heard nothing since their building applied to the Building Safety Fund last summer. When asked why the pace of non-ACM remediation funding has been so slow (only £160m of the £1bn fund has been allocated so far), Lord Greenhalgh said the delays were due to applicants, as information is missing or insufficient in about half of all registrations.

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EOCS gives evidence to HCLG Committee on cladding loans and non-cladding costs

The Government recently announced a further £3.5bn of funding for cladding removal on high-rise buildings, new long-term cladding loans for leaseholders in mid-rise buildings, and nothing more than ‘caveat emptor’ for the remediation of other serious safety defects and interim safety measures.

The cross-party Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee scrutinises the work of MHCLG; Lord Greenhalgh appeared before the Committee on 8th March and we will report on that shortly, but first the Committee invited witnesses, including EOCS campaigner Will Martin, to share evidence:

• Dr Will Martin, affected leaseholder and co-founder of the UK Cladding Action Group
• Dr Dean Buckner, Trustee, Leasehold Knowledge Partnership
• Dr Nigel Glen, CEO, Association of Residential Managing Agents, which manages around 1.5m leaseholds
• The Lord Porter of Spalding CBE, Fire and Building Safety spokesman, Local Government Association
• Kate Henderson, Chief Executive, National Housing Federation

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Our response to RICS Guidance on Valuation of Residential Buildings with Cladding

When we relaunched our campaign in September 2020, one of our key Campaign Aims was a fairer, faster process to replace EWS1 together with the Government funding necessary to ensure all buildings requiring a form are surveyed at pace, to help the millions of people trapped in limbo due to the zero-risk approach inherent in the Government’s January 2020 Advice Notes.

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Meeting with Lord Greenhalgh and MHCLG

On Monday 1st March, End Our Cladding Scandal campaigners had a meeting with Lord Greenhalgh and officials from the MHCLG building safety team.

As you can imagine, we had a packed agenda, with many questions. Unfortunately, we didn’t get many clear answers. Below are the key points from our meeting. We have requested minutes from the meeting for us to be able to properly track the actions; these are still awaited. One of our main frustrations relating to the meetings we’ve had with the MHCLG civil servants is that we have been promised documented actions for over six months, but these have not been forthcoming.

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Our response to Budget Statement

The Chancellor had the chance today to ensure millions of leaseholders were rescued from our nightmare, but he blew his opportunity.

Chancellor Sunak has chosen to hang millions of innocent people out to dry; still forced to somehow find tens of thousands of pounds to fix serious fire safety issues for which they are blameless, with millions being pushed into Cladding Tax loans longer than our mortgages, lease terms and lifetimes.

Mr Sunak said he wants to “stand behind homebuyers” – these are only warm words spun to boost his brand. Where is the help for the hundreds of thousands of first-time buyers stuck in unsafe and valueless flats? Robert Jenrick has decided to rule innocent people out of any help and the Chancellor is now equally to blame.

Innocent victims of this building safety crisis, with the misfortune of living in a building below the arbitrary 18m height threshold for funding, still face bills running into tens of thousands of pounds for fire safety works far beyond cladding.

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Letter to Boris Johnson

As the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has failed to deal with the building safety crisis fairly and now wants to force innocent victims to pay a “cladding tax”, we have written today to Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking for a completely new approach – one that we have been recommending since we relaunched the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign: Letter to Boris Johnson

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