Planning and Housing

16.05.18

PM pledges to fully fund removal of Grenfell-style cladding in £400m plan

The government will commit £400m to allow councils to strip down dangerous cladding from certain tower blocks in an effort to prevent disasters reoccurring, such as last year’s tragic Grenfell fire.

Speaking in the Commons today, Theresa May pledged to fully fund council and housing association-owned tower blocks to remove the combustible materials after months of discussion as to where the funding for the cladding removal will come from – with local authorities concerned about current budget constraints.

The decision comes after Labour increased calls to remove the dangerous coverings on the high-rises, many of which still fail key fire safety tests and are susceptible to disasters such as the fire at Grenfell Tower, which took 71 lives in June last year.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions today, May said fire and rescue services have visited more than 1,250 high-rise buildings and immediate action has been taken to ensure the safety of every resident.

Some 201 households have accepted an offer of temporary or permanent accommodation out of the 210 families made homeless in the wake of the fire. Almost 140 of those households have already been moved into their accommodation.

She added: “Councils and housing associations must remove dangerous cladding quickly but paying for these works must not undermine their ability to do important maintenance and repair work.

“I can today confirm that the government will fully fund the removal and replacement of dangerous cladding by councils and housing associations, estimated at £400m, and the housing secretary will set out further details later this week.

 “As we approach the anniversary of the appalling tragedy that was the Grenfell Tower fire our thoughts are with the victims and survivors and all those affected by that tragedy.”

The PM noted that housing and communities secretary James Brokenshire will release further details later this week.

A London Councils spokesperson said: “We welcome prime minister Theresa May’s commitment to fully funding the cost of urgent remedial work to remove cladding undertaken by the social housing sector after the Grenfell Tower fire.

“Ensuring all Londoners are safe and feel safe in their homes is of paramount importance. We look forward to building on this commitment with Government to ensure people living in all tenures and types of accommodation in London are safe.”

Image Credit: Rick Findler, PA Wire

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