Luke has welcomed the government’s U-turn on cladding as a step in the right direction, but emphasises that many leaseholders will still be left with huge bills.
Yesterday, Michael Gove announced his intention to improve financial protection for residents in blocks of 11m-18m height who have to replace dangerous cladding.
This change follows pressure by Luke and other MPs. In December, Luke signed three amendments to the Building Safety Bill – which called on the government to:
- Empower itself and local authorities to designate dwellings with cladding and fire safety defects as defective and to provide grant support for remediation.
- Place a time-limited duty on the Secretary of State to consider making designations to provide funding for cladding and fire safety remediation and for Parliament to approve the plans for doing so.
- Prevent the costs of any fire safety or building safety remedial works being passed on to leaseholders.
Whilst the government’s u-turn is welcome, there is still much to be done to protect residents from incurring unfair financial cost. Questions remain over how the government plans to enforce the changes, and leaseholders will still face the potentially huge costs associated with fire safety systems and Waking Watch.
It was clear that the Government’s refusal to help leaseholders was unsustainable. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction – but it’s still a job half done because it doesn’t include costs for fire safety defects. Leaseholders in Plymouth will still face huge bills.