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Twelve councils given first share of £400m fund to remove unsafe tower block cladding

The government has released the first £248m share of funding for councils to start removing unsafe cladding from their high-rise tower blocks.

Twelve local authorities and 31 housing associations have been told that they will receive part of the estimated £400m funding announced by Theresa May earlier this year following the Grenfell Fire tragedy in 2017.

The money will be used to remove and replace the unsafe aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding systems on high-rise social housing of 18m or higher.

The government received applications from 159 buildings, of which 135 have haven approved for initial funding.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) said that funding would allow local authorities and housing associations to make properties safe following Grenfell without having an impact on other vital services.

Communities secretary James Brokenshire said the government was doing the right thing for residents by fully funding the cladding and would be monitoring progress closely.

He added: “There is nothing more important than ensuring people are safe in their homes and that is why I am pleased the £400m funding has started to be released.

“In the private sector, I want to see landlords protect leaseholders from these costs. I am pleased that a number have stepped forward to do so. However, there are some who are not engaging in this process. If they don’t, I have ruled nothing out.”

The latest figures from the MHCLG said that 75% of social housing buildings with the unsafe ACM cladding have been remedied or are currently in the process of being replaced. The department claims that plans are in place for the remaining 25%, and interim fire safety measures are being taken in all the affected buildings.

Brokenshire announced in June that combustible cladding was to be banned in high-rise buildings following a consultation.

In the same month, councils in London revealed that they had spent £100m on safety measures since the Grenfell fire, covering cladding removal, surveys and ‘waking watches’ on at-risk buildings.

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Image credit - AmandaLewis


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