This is a guide to the McPartland-Smith amendments to the Building Safety Bill, as at 27 July 2021. We recommend that you read it together with the amendments. Many thanks to Liam Spender for providing this helpful summary.
We cautiously welcome today’s shock government announcement on EWS1 and the need to inject some much-needed common sense into how building safety is being handled for low- and medium-rise apartment buildings – a true and proportionate risk-based approach is something we have been calling for since we relaunched our campaign.
The Building Safety Bill offers the unique chance for the Government to finally take control of the building safety crisis and, once and for all, to help leaseholders who, through no fault of their own, have found themselves physically, financially and mentally trapped. Unfortunately, the Government still seems scared of getting a grip on this nightmare that has blighted our lives for years.
Last night Conservative MPs voted to remove an amendment to the Fire Safety Bill that would have protected leaseholders from the cost of replacing dangerous cladding. The amendment was rejected 322 to 253.
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.
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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