Government gives £8m for councils’ cladding enforcement teams

A tower block in Leamington with its cladding removed as a precaution following the Grenfell Tower disaster. (Photo 197698572 © Gary Hider |
A tower block in Leamington with its cladding removed as a precaution following the Grenfell Tower disaster. (Photo: Gary Hider |

The government has set aside £8m more in funding for council enforcement teams to hold building owners to account for cladding repairs on high-rise properties.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said that councils had already begun enforcement work through their own teams, but that extra support meant they could provide more support to leaseholders.

The funding will be split between 59 councils in England, with priority going to those with the highest number of unsafe buildings. That means funding will flow in particular to councils in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

Under the new Building Safety Act, building owners must fix their own buildings and developers are first in line to pay to protect leaseholders from repair bills.

Developers to fund remediation

More than 45 housebuilders have now signed up to fund work to fix life-critical safety defects on buildings 11m and over in height that they had a role in developing or refurbishing over the last 30 years.

Where a developer cannot be identified or has not yet agreed to pay for its own buildings, the £4.5bn Building Safety Fund will pay for work to address life-critical safety issues with buildings 18m or more in height with cladding.

There is also a new scheme that developers are funding through the Building Safety Levy for eligible buildings 11-18m in height.

Minister for building safety Lee Rowley said: “Building owners must get essential cladding repairs done as quickly as possible and we will be relentless in pursuing those who do not.

“We are bolstering council enforcement operations, making them better equipped to make the most of the powers they have to hold freeholders to account and prevent them from dragging their heels.

“I look forward to working with councils to ensure we keep up the pressure on freeholders so they step up to the plate.”

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