Ministers urged to step up to help lessees with cladding costs


Inisters have been urged to help flat owners remove the dangerous cladding, after plans surfaced to pressure developers to cover works costing up to £4 billion.

In an apparent climb, Housing Secretary Michael Gove is expected to announce that lessees in buildings 11 to 18 meters tall will no longer have to take out loans to cover costs.

Instead, a Treasury letter reported by BBC Newsnight suggests that with no further money coming from the government, it is threatened with taxes or legislation to pressure developers to cover the costs facing leaseholders. Will give

Fire Service personnel survey the damage to Grenfell Tower (Rick Findler/PA) , PA Archive

Currently only leaseholders can access the grant in buildings taller than 18 meters to replace unsafe cladding under measures introduced in England after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 killed 72 people.

Gov, written by Treasury Chief Secretary Simon Clarke, said loans for smaller buildings would be replaced with a “limited grant scheme”.

“You may use high-level ‘threat’ of tax or legal settlement in discussions as a means of obtaining voluntary contributions from developers,” it read.

“I am pleased to see that you embrace the principle that the taxpayer should not be on the hook for further costs of treatment. To reiterate, my approval of this new package for 11-18m buildings is therefore further conditional on the funding of the treasury.”

Senior Tory MP Sir Peter Bottomley, who co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold and Commonhold Reform, urged the government to move forward.

Sir Peter Bottomley (House of Commons / PA) , PA Wire

He said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “What we are hearing is making progress – it is not enough.”

Sir Peter said, “We need to get the money, it needs to be spent properly, and we need to remove the indemnity funding barrier” so that landlords can claim from developers and builders.